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Extract: Sharing your data...

Details and comments about the WhatsApp announcement that it will be handing over your personal data to Facebook


Link Here11th January 2021

WhatsApp is forcing users to agree to sharing information with Facebook if they want to keep using the service.

The company warns users in a pop-up notice that they need to accept these updates to continue using WhatsApp - or delete their accounts.

But Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said European and UK users would not see the same data-sharing changes, although they will need to accept new terms.

See details in article from bbc.co.uk

See also comment piece WhatsApp users are really Facebook customers now -- it's getting harder to forget thatfrom theguardian.com

 

 

A new internet space race with the west...

Putin signs a raft of internet censorship measures into law


Link Here3rd January 2021
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia 2020s...Russia and its repressive state control of media
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed several internet censorship laws into force, including one that introduces crippling fines for failing to remove banned material.

Although sexually explicit content is technically legal in Russia, existing laws banning the illegal production, dissemination and advertisement of pornographic materials and objects and other laws claiming to protect the health of Russian children are deployed by the state at its own discretion against sites hosting adult content.

The end-of-the-year legislative package signed into law by Putin, according to Reuters , also grants the Russian government new powers to restrict U.S. social media giants, label individuals 'foreign agents,' and to crack down on the disclosure of its security officers' personal data.

One of the measures was a response complaints about supposed bias and prejudice shown by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube against Russian media. If social media companies block Russian websites then these social media websites will be blocked in Russia.

Another of the new laws introduces hefty fines of up to 20% of their previous year's Russia-based turnover for sites that repeatedly fail to remove content banned in Russia.

 

 

Censor vs censor...

Russian lawmakers progress bill to allow the government to censor social media should it censor Russian news providers


Link Here24th December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Saudi...Communications under threat
Russian lawmakers have moved a step closer to allowing state censors to block Internet platforms like Facebook and YouTube if they are deemed to have censored content produced by Russians.

Russia's lower house of parliament, which passed draft legislation in a third reading, said in a media release that authorities can target platforms if they have been found to limit information based on nationality and language. The lower house State Duma added that Internet websites could also be sanctioned in the event of discrimination against the content of Russian media.

The legislation now needs to get approval from the upper house Federation Council before President Vladimir Putin signs it into law .

 

 

Online Harms in Pakistan...

Just like Ofcom, Pakistan's internet censor is being giving infinite powers to censor internet content


Link Here21st December 2020
Full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has analysed the provisions of a new set of online content regulations that the Pakistani government decreed without any consultation with stakeholders, and which are clearly designed to impose draconian online censorship.

Published last month by the information ministry and entitled Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content (Procedure, Oversight and Safeguards), Rules 2020 , the new regulations replace an earlier set of rules that were suspended in February because of a civil society outcry .They have ended up going much further, granting disproportionate and discretionary powers to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the online content regulator, which is a direct government offshoot.

On national security grounds, the rules provide for the withdrawal or blocking of any content that excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the federal or provincial government or harms the reputation of any person holding public office.  It is equally concerning that the rules also provide for the censorship of any content regarded as indecent, immoral or harmful to the glory of Islam , without giving any precise definition of these extremely vague concepts. The interpretation is left to the PTA, which thereby acquires arbitrary and almost infinite powers.

The rules also empower the PTA to act as both plaintiff and judge. It is the PTA that decides, without reference to a court , whether content violates the criminal code and, worse still, it is the PTA that reexamines cases in the event of a challenge, and rules on any appeals.

Platforms are also legally obliged to hand over user data when asked, including data from private and encrypted communications. And platforms with more than 500,000 users are required to open an office in Pakistan, install servers there and register with the authorities.


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