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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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



Latest update : 2013-10-14

Peru’s ex-president Fujimori is tweeting from prison

Today on the net: the former president of Peru is tweeting from prison; several US states are cracking down on "revenge porn"; and Banksy’s latest public and mobile art installation hits New York City.

Peru’s ex-president Fujimori is tweeting from prison

"Strikes, road blocks, protests against absurd measures… Is the Ollanta-Nadine government deaf? Or just incapable of governing?" This message criticising the Peruvian president Ollanta Humala was posted to Twitter by his predecessor Alberto Fujimori.

The former head of state, who is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for corruption and crimes against humanity, is not permitted to give interviews or make public statements. But this clearly hasn’t stopped him from taking to the web to comment on current events in Peru from his prison cell.

Alberto Fujimori published his memoirs online at the end of September and also uses the net to voice his political opinions. And although the authorities aren’t happy about this, there is nothing they can do… as the former president’s lawyer told local press, he uses a public pay phone in the prison to pass on messages to his friends and family who then post them to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

As we can hear in this audio recording posted to Google’s video sharing service, Alberto Fujimori uses these accounts to defend his ten years in office as leader of Peru, particularly as far as the economy and security are concerned. The online charm offensive could well be part of a plan to garner public support for the former head of state’s bid to have his prison term switched to house arrest. He did ask for a presidential pardon on health grounds back in June, but the request was rejected.


US states crackdown on "revenge porn"

With New Jersey and California recently adopting a series of measures aimed at combatting so-called “revenge porn”, New York has become the latest state to move towards outlawing this practice which involves bitter exes sharing compromising or sexual photos or films of their former partner online.

It’s becoming increasingly widespread practice in the US, and has gradually developed into a real money maker, and there are now dozens of websites specializing in “revenge porn”, platforms law makers in a number of US states are keen to stop.

An anti "revenge porn" bill has just been enforced in California, whereby any spurned lover found posting this type of content online could be looking at a six month prison term and a 1,000 dollar fine. The bill currently under debate in New York would include a twelve month jail sentence and a 30,000 dollar fine.

The authorities say hefty punishment is necessary, but not everyone’s convinced. Many web users in fact, like the author of this blog, think it’s ridiculous to criminalize this type of practice and to fill up the already packed prisons across the country, when, in their opinion, cases of “revenge porn” would be better dealt with in civilian courts.


France: online petition against speed limit cuts

The French drivers’ advocacy group "40 millions d’automobilistes" is challenging government plans to reduce the speed limits on main roads across France, and has launched an online petition addressed to the powers that be. The documents criticizes the government for treating drivers like children and bowing to pressure from anti-car lobby groups, and calls for open and calm debate.


Snoopybabe, the new feline sensation on the Internet

With some 286,000 followers on China’s Twitter equivalent Sina Weibo, and around 200,000 on Instagram, Snoopybabe is one of the most popular cats online at the moment. His owner posts photos of the cute little kitty on a regular basis, and he’s winning over animal lovers and web users the world over.


Video of the day

The world famous British graffiti artist Banksy is in the Big Apple at the moment, and he decided to put on a somewhat novel and disturbing show for New Yorkers. He filled up a slaughterhouse delivery truck with stuffed toy pigs, cows, lambs, sheep and so on, and had it driven around the city… The artwork is called “sirens of the lambs” and was created to highlight the food industry’s dire treatment of animals.

By Electron Libre



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