Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Soft on Smacking? France slammed for not banning corporal punishment (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

French Muslims refuse to be scapegoats for extremists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande: 'We have to tear voters away from the National Front'

Read more

FACE-OFF

French local elections: Far-right National Front in pole position

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'Citizen Four', 'The Circle' and 'Wolf Totem'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tangerine Dream: Afropolitan star Yemi Alade chats to FRANCE 24

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Islamic State group's child soldiers

Read more

DEBATE

Netanyahu on Capitol Hill: Israeli PM calls for deal breaker with Iran (part 2)

Read more

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

WEB NEWS

WEB NEWS

Latest update : 2013-03-13

Iran blocks VPN use ahead of presidential election

Iran steps up its web censorship by blocking access to virtual private networks. The online campaigning for Colombian coffee growers pays off. And a fascinating water and sound experiment

Iran blocks VPN use ahead of presidential election

The Iranian authorities have taken web censorship to a new level by blocking the use of all virtual private networks, or “VPNs” which are not controlled by the state and are used by Iranian netizens to get around the extensive Internet filter implemented by the Mullah regime. With VPNs cut off, it will be even more difficult for Iranian web users to access foreign websites, starting with social networks.

The magazine "Security week" says these new restrictions to Internet access constitute a preventative measure to counter campaigning from government opponents in the run up to June’s presidential election. The article reminds readers the Iranian authorities will do anything to avoid a repeat of 2009 when the opposition Green Movement took to the web to denounce irregularities in the electoral process and coordinate mass anti-government rallies.

And this isn’t the authorities’ only initiative geared towards silencing online critics ahead of the presidential election. As Reporters without Borders explains, Iran had already drawn up a list of 25 election-related Internet crimes back in December 2011; so calling for an election boycott for example or publishing content deemed counterrevolutionary are offenses punishable by a prison sentence.

In the meantime however the latest measures mean Iranian web users will be more cut off from the rest of the world than ever, the move is consistent with Tehran’s plans to switch citizens on to a domestic Internet network, largely isolated from the World Wide Web, which the authorities say is used by Western nations and government enemies as a tool for spying and spreading propaganda.

 

Colombia: web users show support for coffee growers

Last week Colombian coffee growers ended their 11-day strike to protest against poor working conditions and loss of income after finally signing a deal with the authorities. The government has agreed on a subsidy to offset lower prices for their product on international markets – a victory for the coffee growers and their supporters and it’s partly down to the mass online campaigning throughout the duration of the strike.

Indeed, social networks have played a pivotal role in drumming up support and raising public awareness. The Twitter hashtags “I support the coffee farmers strike” and “Colombia says the coffee farmers are right” were soon trending heavily in the country; many social networkers posted under these keywords to encourage fellow citizens to join the movement and to urge the government to take action and help the farmers.

Activists also flooded the web with posters: creations that focused, in particular, on the importance of the coffee growing profession to Colombia, and referring to the famers, like we see here, as national heroes.

There are also a number of videos featuring accounts from the coffee growers circulating online, giving the people of Colombia further insight into their plight. Emotional, moving testimonies from farmers like this man who explains with tears in his eyes that he can no longer earn enough to live. These pieces of amateur video footage have been widely circulated online and have no doubt convinced a great number of web users that the farmers deserve justice.

 

Poutsch, an opinion social network

Would you wear Google glasses? Do you like horse meat? Do you trust Facebook? These are just a couple of the hundreds of questions posed on Poutsch, a new opinion-based social network. It was created by three friends from France and aims to connect people who don’t know each other but share similar opinions. An interesting initiative and yet another place for web users to discuss matters that are important to them and even let off steam.

 

Now trending on social networks

The "Pretty Girls, Ugly Faces" discussion thread was started on community site Reddit a few weeks ago and, as the title suggests, involves pretty girls from all over the world pulling the ugliest face possible and posting the pic online. It’s become so popular that a dedicated website has since been created and there’s now also a similar thread for men…

 

Video of the day

This incredible water and sound experiment was carried out by the Brusspup collective and documented in this YouTube video. We see a steady stream of water go through some pretty astonishing changes. The optical illusion was created using sound waves from a speaker which alters the liquid flow but is invisible to the naked eye. The producers of the video were able to capture it on film however, by using a camera that shoots 24 frames per second.

By Electron Libre

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-03-04 Egypt

Egyptians mock IS group online

In this edition: Egyptian web users mock the Islamic State terror group; online support for a Canadian Muslim woman; and a skateboarding pussycat.

Read more

2015-03-03 USA

Facebook video shows LAPD shooting of homeless man

In this edition: the Los Angeles Police Department under scrutiny from American web users; Spanish students protest against changes to higher education degrees; and global ship...

Read more

2015-02-27 Venezuela

Venezuelan president accused of murdering students

In this edition: The Venezuelan president is accused of murdering students; Cameroonian web users rally behind the #StopBokoHaram campaign; and we step onto the ice with a pro...

Read more

2015-02-25 Mexico

Mexicans demand the government they deserve

In this edition: Mexicans demand the government they deserve; Indonesians unhappy with the Australian Prime Minister; and a revamped version of the Daft Punk hit "Get Lucky".

Read more

2015-02-24 Egypt

Egypt sentences blogger to five years in prison

In this edition: Egypt sentences a blogger to five years in prison; men wearing short skirts as they campaign for women's rights in Turkey; and wakeboarding in a drainage ditch,...

Read more