Google

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Google's logo is seen outside its office in Beijing. If the company were to launch a censored news app in China, it would send a message to other companies and other countries that trading press freedom principles for access to lucrative markets is acceptable. (Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Google complicity in Chinese censorship could endanger press freedom elsewhere

In 2010, after four years of offering Chinese users a heavily censored version of its search engine, Google decided it would no longer block search results at the request of the Chinese state. “Our objection is to those forces of totalitarianism,” Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, told The New York Times at the time, adding that…

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People attend the YouTube Fanfest in Jakarta, Indonesia, in October 2016. Google released its first YouTube-specific transparency report in May. (Reuters/Beawiharta)

Greater transparency welcome but social media sites should allow independent audits of content takedowns

In recent days, some of the world’s largest tech companies released new transparency reports, opened up their content moderation guidelines, and adopted approaches to fighting pernicious content as they tried to head off government regulation amid concerns about “fake news,” harassment, terrorism and other ills proliferating on their platforms.

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A screen shot of the new label on RT's YouTube channel. (CPJ)

YouTube labels on public broadcasters draw ire in US, Russia

With claims to more than one billion users consuming content in 76 languages, Google’s YouTube has become a core part of most media outlets’ dissemination strategy. And although there are 88 localized versions of the service, YouTube.com remains the largest and most influential platform for reaching a global audience. Which is why, when the site…

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Egyptian fishermen on the Nile River as the sun sets in Cairo, Egypt, in April 2015. Ahead of presidential elections scheduled between March 26 and 28, 2018, the Egyptian government has been keen to silence any critical reporting, CPJ research shows. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

Egyptian public must be able to access all news sites

New York, February 6, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Egyptian authorities to ensure that the public has easy access to a full range of news and information sources in the lead-up to presidential elections scheduled for next month.

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Deciding who decides which news is fake

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

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Mario Costeja Gonzalez speaks on his mobile phone outside a court in Barakaldo, Spain, on June 25, 2013. As a result of a lawsuit he filed against Google, Internet companies can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from search engine results, Europe's top court ruled.  (Reuters/Vincent West)

Two continents, two courts, two approaches to privacy

At 3:20 a.m. on August 24, 2014, the strongest earthquake in a quarter-century rocked the San Francisco Bay Area, causing damage widely estimated at between $300 million and $1 billion.

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UPDATE: Google, Mozilla revoke authority of CNNIC after breach of trust

San Francisco, April 2, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Google’s plan to revoke the authority of root certificates belonging to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) following CNNIC’s major breach of the trust placed in them to underpin global Internet security. Mozilla also said it will not trust any CNNIC certificates dated after April…

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Yahoo! End-to-End email preview promises greater protection for journalists

Good news for journalists wanting added protection from surveillance. Yahoo! has announced a technical preview of its email security tool End-to-End, which it has been developing in collaboration with Google. This is another milestone in the tech companies’ efforts to protect users not just from outsiders, but also from the companies themselves.

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Russia intensifies restrictions on blogs, social media

On August 1, Russia will significantly tighten its grip on blogging and social media conversations and will acquire expanded powers to block Internet services originating abroad. The new authorities, approved by Russia’s parliament in April, buttress existing regulations that have already been used to block several independent news sites, some of which reported on the…

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EU ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling will corrupt history

Google has taken its first public steps to comply with a troubling ruling by the European Court of Justice establishing a so-called “right to be forgotten” throughout the European Union. The ruling, on May 13, requires that search companies consider individuals’ demands to remove Internet links that reference them, and to give those requests priority…

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