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The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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Belarusian government tightens its control over Internet

The Belarusian government tightens its control over the Internet; reactions online. Mexican artists unite against violence. And a video showing citizen journalists how to film a revolution…

Belarusian government tightens its control over Internet

The Belarusian government has further tightened its control over the Internet. It is now enforcing new restrictions obliging service providers and cyber cafés to record users’ data, along with their web browsing history. They have to keep the information on file for a one year period and hand it over to the authorities if required. If they fail to do so, they will be fined.

The government has drawn up a list of blacklisted websites deemed pornographic, violent or extremist. And as far as the NGO Reporters without Borders is concerned, the government is using this legislation as a means to block access to opposition sites and independent news portals.

Law professor Yarik Kryvoi shares similar concerns, but does specify that these restrictions can only be applied in State institutions like libraries and universities. He adds that web censorship is nothing new in Belarus, and opposition sites have often been the targets of cyber-attacks.

Belarusian activists perceive these new measures as an attempt at silencing the country’s dissidents. They have made great use of social networks to coordinate actions; many demonstrations have been organized via the Internet in recent months. Protesters did not hold banners or chant slogans; they simply and ironically clapped to demonstrate their opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko’s 17 year grip on political power.

 

Mexican artists unite against violence

Mexican artists are uniting to try and put an end to the rampant violence in their country. The online campaign is called “Our lives, our names” and is about telling the stories of all those who have been killed in the violence to give them a name and a face and keep their memory alive.

Public figures from Mexico have got involved in the project by making videos and posting them online. The clips are very simple, with them talking directly to the camera, lending their voices to the victims, talking about their ordeals, making sure they are not forgotten. In this clip for example the actress Diana Garcia relates the tragic death of Victoria Castro, a 15 year old migrant who was assassinated as she tried to make it over the US border.

A lot of local artists and performers are supporting the project, and so are some of the country’s media outlets. The people behind online newspaper “Marvin” hope the campaign will help change the people of Mexico’s mindsets and put an end to the never ending, ongoing violence.

The entire country is encouraged to get involved by uploading videos paying tribute to victims of the violence. These calls for national mobilization are being widely relayed on social media platforms so that the people of Mexico can voice their frustration with the situation which over the past few years has been getting steadily worse.

 

Wikipedia fundraising earns 20 million dollars

The Wikimedia Foundation the non-profit behind online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has released a statement online announcing that a record 20 million dollars has been collected during a fundraising drive which saw over a million people from all over the world make donations so that the Foundation could continue running independently for another year. The Foundation will use the money to buy new servers, to develop new Wikipedia features and expand mobile services.


You have downloaded.com

With the American website Youhavedownloaded.com, you can access IP addresses’ download history by simply typing the address in the search box. The website then gives you a list of all downloads carried out on that particular computer. The site’s creator says it’s far from complete as the site is currently analyzing just 20 % of online downloads.

 

Video of the day

This video was made and uploaded by members of the « Occupy » movement against corporate greed and the abuses of capitalism that began in the United States mid-September. It is providing advice for amateur film makers on how to capture the best footage and get as close to the action as possible without being taken to task by protesters, security forces or riot police… a very useful video for citizen journalists.


 

By Electron Libre

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