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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2012-08-19

Malaysians protest against Internet censorship legislation

Malaysians protest against Internet censorship legislation. The Romney-Ryan ticket trying to win over American voters. And Bill Gates is looking to invent the toilet of tomorrow.

Malaysians protest against Internet censorship legislation

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has posted a message on Twitter promising to revise a law which according to critics could have a negative impact on freedom of online expression.

The announcement comes after a wave of protests from web users across Malaysia. On Tuesday, bloggers, activists and political opponents took part in an online blackout protest, blacking out their welcome pages and adding banners protesting the new 114A amendment to the “Malaysian Evidence Act”.

In this video a representative for Malaysia’s Centre of Independent Journalism, explains the amendment adopted back in April enables law enforcement officials to hold web hosting providers, Internet providers and web users accountable for any “illicit” material posted online – content deemed defamatory or libelous against the government.

The founder of online news site "Malaysiakini" says this means a blogger could be liable for readers’ comments posted to his or her blog.

Many web users find this totally unacceptable. Cartoonist Zunar for example has published this drawing, denouncing a law which he says is geared towards controlling the Internet in a country where traditional media is known for its close ties with the powers that be.

NGO Reporters without Borders has accused the Malaysian authorities of trying to put a gag on opponents, who are highly active on the web, ahead of the legislative elections due to take place before the end of the year.

 

USA: Romney-Ryan ticket tries to seduce voters

The US presidential campaign continues and Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan have billed themselves « America’s comeback team » - and their campaign team is working hard at getting them online coverage, promoting the duo via the net to reach as wide an audience as possible.

On Mitt Romney’s web site, a lot of space has been devoted to the man who will become his vice-president if elected in November. 42 year old Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan, is portrayed as a dynamic politician and a hard worker who has always done his upmost to reduce public spending.

A video has also been produced, highlighting the principal measures proposed by the Romney-Ryan duo, and is doing the rounds on sharing sites. In the clip, the Wisconsin congressman lauds his partner’s qualities, saying he is the only man capable of reviving the economy and giving fresh hope to America’s middle class.

But the Obama camp was quick to respond to these attempts at winning over voters, branding the Republican ticket as “The Go back team”. Ryan has been depicted as a dangerous conservative on the current US president’s web site, with the Romney-Ryan program described as having potentially dramatic consequences on the US economy. The same arguments are also presented in this YouTube video which concludes by saying women, senior citizens, students and the middle class in general will be left to pick up the pieces if the Republicans win November’s presidential election.


App.net, an ad-free alternative to Twitter

An ad-free micro blogging site entirely user supported. This is what app.net has set out to do and appears to be a hit with thousands of web users who have already collectively donated over 700 000 dollars via a crowd funding platform. The investment earns backers membership to this new social network which positions itself as a direct rival to Twitter. The man behind it, Dalton Caldwell says it will be a paid social network but will never sell users’ personal info on to third parties.

 

Now trending on social networks

Kim Dotcom, the famous founder of download and file hosting site Megaupload, which was closed down by the FBI at the beginning of the year, is back trending on social networks. Eh posted a message to Twitter on Monday about his plans to launch a new, bigger and better, version of the controversial site. His announcement has since been widely publicized on the web, receiving a very warm reception from the vast majority of web users.

 

Video of the day

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is looking to reinvent the toilet for the 2.6 billion people around the world who don’t have access to modern sanitation. He has already invested 5 million dollars into this humanitarian project via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – a project presented in this short animation which is currently circulating online.

By Electron Libre

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