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A mushrooming blogosphere has challenged the state's media monopoly, drawing a heavy-handed bid to bring the Internet under government control. By Shawn W. Crispin

Blogger Pham Viet Dao attends a conference on social media in Hanoi on December 24, 2012. Dao was arrested on June 13, 2013, on accusations of anti-state activity. (Reuters/Nguyen Lan Thang)
Blogger Pham Viet Dao attends a conference on social media in Hanoi on December 24, 2012. Dao was arrested on June 13, 2013, on accusations of anti-state activity. (Reuters/Nguyen Lan Thang)

San Francisco, February 6, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish President Abdullah Gül to veto the Internet bill passed Wednesday by the Turkish Parliament. The bill would grant the Turkish government unprecedented control over the Internet by allowing Web pages to be blocked without a court order, requiring mandatory data retention by Internet Service Providers, and authorizing the government to seize user data on demand, all without meaningful procedural safeguards.

Turkish Internet bill would deepen press freedom crisis

Riot police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest against Internet censorship in Istanbul on January 18, 2014. (Reuters)

The Turkish parliament is on the verge of voting on radical censorship measures that, if approved, would allow the government to block individual URLs without prior judicial review, mandate Internet data retention for periods of up to two years, and consolidate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) into a single association, among other changes. If passed, the amendments to Turkey's already restrictive Internet law would compound a dismal record on press freedom in the country, which is the leading jailer of journalists worldwide. Unsurprisingly, the proposed amendments are causing outrage among free expression activists and journalists in Turkey and around the world.

On Internet freedom, India's perilous trajectory

By the time the first story based on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures splashed across the front pages of the world's newspapers, India had reportedly begun deployment of its own major surveillance architecture, the Central Management System (CMS). The system is a $132 million project that allows central access to all communications content and metadata carried over Indian telecommunications networks. According to documents reviewed by The Hindu:

While tech companies call for spying reform, telcos silent

On Monday, eight of the world's leading technology companies set aside their rivalries to issue a direct challenge to U.S. lawmakers: lead the world by example and fix America's broken surveillance state. Although the tech companies' statement sends a powerful message, notably absent from the letter's signatories is the appearance of a single telecommunications company, or telco.

Bangkok, July 22, 2013--A new decree aimed at regulating Internet-related information and services in Vietnam represents a significant new danger to online journalists and bloggers, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The decree was signed into law on July 15 and will be implemented on September 1, according to news reports.

CPJ, coalition press for information on surveillance

CPJ today joined an unprecedented coalition of leading Internet companies and civil liberty activists in the United States to press Washington to be more open about its massive and controversial surveillance programs.

In NSA surveillance debate, tech firms urge transparency

Some of the Internet companies at the heart of the outcry over U.S. government surveillance today joined with human rights and press freedom groups, including CPJ, in calling for greater government disclosure of electronic communications monitoring.

New York, June 13, 2013--Iranian authorities have intensified their crackdown on the Internet, including on media outlets and journalists, in the days leading up to Friday's presidential election, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Several opposition websites have reported being briefly hacked, while Google issued a statement on Wednesday that said tens of thousands of Gmail accounts of Iranian users had been targeted.

Early moves by Thein Sein to ease Internet censorship are viewed as a limited concession to press freedom, since Burma has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in the world. Now, planned foreign investments in mobile infrastructure promise to expand access, but a draft telecommunications law would leave intact many of the vague legal restrictions used to curb online freedoms in the past. By Shawn W. Crispin

Burmese citizens use an Internet café in Rangoon. The country has one of the lowest Internet penetration rates in the world. (AFP)

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