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Access to Information

“Soft Censorship”: A Slow and increasing threat to free media

“Soft Censorship”: A Slow and increasing threat to free media

🕔09:41, 17.Jun 2014

A new global report on “soft censorship” warns of increasing threats to independent media posed by official use of financial leverage and regulatory powers to influence reporting and the very viability of media outlets. “Soft Censorship, Hard Impact”, produced by the World

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Secrecy and surveillance: Report into the state of press freedom in Australia in 2014

🕔08:35, 8.May 2014

A year ago, the press freedom debate in Australia centred on protecting confidential sources. Up to seven MEAA members were facing court action brought, in the main, by the rich and powerful going on fishing expeditions to find out the

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Turkey: Journalists could face 9 years in jail for publishing leaked intelligence material under new law

🕔06:56, 29.Apr 2014

A new law on Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency greatly increases its surveillance powers while threatening journalists who expose its abuses with prison terms, Human Rights Watch said today. The law would decrease state accountability, media freedom, and the right to

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New rules proposed by U.S. Communications Commission could threaten net neutrality

🕔06:49, 29.Apr 2014

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is circulating a proposal for new FCC rules on the issue of network neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data that travels over their networks equally. Unfortunately, early reports

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TPP trade agreement is right where we want it: Going nowhere

🕔06:34, 28.Apr 2014

President Obama is on a diplomatic tour of Asia this week and one of his top priorities is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that includes restrictive copyright enforcement measures that pose a huge threat to users’ rights and a free

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Two Kuwaiti newspapers suspended for violating ban on coverage of alleged coup

🕔06:29, 28.Apr 2014

Reporters Without Borders condemns the 20 April decision by the public prosecutor’s office to suspend two daily newspapers that defied a two-month-old ban on covering an investigation into videotapes that allegedly reveal plans to stage a coup d’état. Two daily newspapers, Al-Watan and Alam

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CPJ urges free expression be part of post-2015 MDG agenda

🕔16:23, 25.Apr 2014

In a letter to the co-chairmen of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, CPJ stressed that it is vital that the group’s report to the UN Secretary-General later in 2014 include freedom of expression and access to information and independent

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Linking access to information to protection of the environment in Bangladesh

🕔16:41, 16.Apr 2014

On 6 February 2014, ARTICLE 19 outlined how local communities and activists are using the Right to Information Act to hold Bangladeshi authorities accountable for creating a safe and sustainable environment. Freedom of expression and information are key in overcoming poverty and

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Controversy surrounds India's biometric database

🕔13:50, 15.Apr 2014

Established in 2009 by executive order, the Unique Identification Number Authority of India (UIDAI) has taken on the monumental challenge of issuing each resident of the country with a Unique Identification Number (UID), more commonly known as the Aadhaar card.

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China urged to investigate lawyers' torture claims, close "black jails"

🕔03:19, 11.Apr 2014

The Chinese government should investigate four prominent human rights lawyer’ claims that they were tortured by police officers while in detention, Human Rights Watch said on April 8, 2014. On April 6, 2014, after being released from administrative detention, the

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Declassifying CIA torture report is first step toward public accounting of detainee practices

🕔15:03, 10.Apr 2014

The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s vote to declassify part of its report on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention and interrogation is an important first step toward public accounting of torture by the United States, says Human Rights Watch. The committee

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New global coalition urges governments to keep surveillance technologies in check

🕔11:23, 7.Apr 2014

World leaders must commit to keeping invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said a new global coalition of human rights organizations as it launched on 4 April 2014 in Brussels. The Coalition

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For defectors, getting out of North Korea is only part of the problem

🕔02:24, 5.Apr 2014

North Korea hit global headlines again last week. This was in part because of the UN resolution condemning the catastrophic, ongoing abuses against its people, in the wake of a 400-page report chronicling the country’s countless human rights violations. However, as much

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Positive trends and challenges to freedom of information in Africa

🕔17:08, 3.Apr 2014

A two-day Africa Regional Conference on Freedom of Information Implementation bringing together over 100 state and non-state actors from Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, was held in Abuja, Nigeria. The conference discussed

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Pacific Island news media struggle to stay afloat

🕔06:07, 2.Apr 2014

It’s no secret that the Pacific Islands will face rising sea levels, coastal flooding, and deadly storms as a result of climate change, a fact reiterated in this week’s report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Unfortunately, few people

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Tunisia: Progress needed on access to information law

🕔02:34, 31.Mar 2014

A law that guarantees the right to information for all citizens must be adopted ahead of presidential and legislative elections later this year. ARTICLE 19 urges the interim government and Tunisian National Constituent Assembly (ANC) to take action to ensure

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A response to UK rules restricting prisoners' access to books

🕔05:33, 29.Mar 2014

There are people out there who claim they can make things go viral. They are lying. They are the digital version of economists, confidently asserting they can predict the behaviour of millions of barely-rational people, when nothing of the sort

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Surveillance companies ditch Switzerland, but further action needed

🕔05:20, 22.Mar 2014

UPDATE: The past few days have seen more movement in Switzerland. The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs responded swiftly to our request for official clarification. The SECO confirmed to PI that “all licence requests for the export of technologies for internet monitoring were

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Principles on free expression and rights to water and sanitation launched on eve of World Water Day

🕔05:12, 22.Mar 2014

On the eve of World Water Day, ARTICLE 19 launches The Free Flow Principles: Freedom of Expression and Rights to Water and Sanitation. The Principles, developed in cooperation with experts and activists from around the world, provide guidance to policy makers

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Civil society groups urge African countries to pass access to information laws

🕔05:30, 15.Mar 2014

A group of nine civil society organisations including the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) – that is leading a campaign to promote the passage and implementation of Access to Information (ATI) legislation in Africa – has urged countries without

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Getty Images allows free embedding, but at what cost to privacy?

🕔05:07, 14.Mar 2014

Getty Images – among the world’s largest providers of stock and editorial photos – has announced a major change to the way it is offering its pictures for sites to use. Beginning this week, in addition to the traditional licensing options, people

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Nuclear lobby still gagging independent coverage three years after Fukushima disaster

🕔05:04, 14.Mar 2014

Reporters Without Borders deplores the climate of censorship and self-censorship that continues to prevail in discussions of nuclear energy in Japan three years after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 250 km north of Tokyo. In particular,

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U.S. CIA accused of hiding the truth about detention and interrogation abuses

🕔05:19, 13.Mar 2014

US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s account of CIA efforts to obstruct congressional oversight underscores the urgency of declassifying a Senate report on the CIA secret detention and interrogation program, Human Rights Watch said today (March 11, 2014). The Justice Department should

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Importance of access to information, media freedom highlighted in UN sustainable development document

🕔06:13, 4.Mar 2014

ARTICLE 19  On 26 February 2014, ARTICLE 19 welcomed the inclusion of a number of crucial issues in the recently published Focus Areas Document by the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the areas which the document highlights

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India's independent journalism in doubt in election year

🕔14:09, 3.Mar 2014

With the dawn of the new year, India is looking ahead to a national election in May. Recent developments raise questions about the quality and quantity of independent news coverage of the polls as local media come under greater political

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Pakistan-based human rights group files complaint against UK over mass surveillance

🕔14:04, 3.Mar 2014

Privacy International’s partner organisation, Bytes for All, has filed a complaint against the UK Government, decrying the human rights violations inherent in such extensive surveillance and demonstrating how the UK’s mass surveillance operations and its policies have a disproportionate impact on those

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Despite Australian government's claims, privacy rights not insignificant

🕔14:01, 3.Mar 2014

Australia’s intelligence agencies have been conducting mass surveillancefor more than half a century, routinely sharing the fruits of such labours with their Five Eyes allies in the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. Australian spying facilities are staffed by the NSA and the

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South Sudanese towns suffer information vacuum

South Sudanese towns suffer information vacuum

🕔13:51, 3.Mar 2014

The following is a CPJ Blog post by Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative “This is the worst situation I ever reported since I started reporting in 2007,” BBC Media Action producer Manyang David Mayar told me after he left the restive town of Bor, Jonglei

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Intellectual freedom in Canada: Freedom to Read Week 2014

🕔05:52, 1.Mar 2014

“Intellectual freedom is the freedom to think,” says Franklin Carter, editor and researcher with the Book and Periodical Council’s (BPC) Freedom of Expression Committee. “People need it to learn and grow throughout their lives. Learning and growing are much easier

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Five Eyes alliance questioned about what they are up to – here's their response

🕔04:54, 21.Feb 2014

Would you like to read the current international agreements establishing the intelligence sharing arrangements that underpin the work of the NSA and GCHQ? The rules that govern massive, coordinated communications surveillance operations, hacking, and the exploitation of networks and devices

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