The Shifting Landscape of Global Internet Censorship, released today, documents the practice of Internet censorship around the world through empirical testing in 45 countries of the availability of 2,046 of the world’s most-trafficked and influential websites, plus additional country-specific websites. The study finds evidence of filtering in 26 countries across four broad content themes: political, social, topics related to conflict and security, and Internet tools (a term that includes censorship circumvention tools as well as social media platforms). The majority of countries that censor content do so across all four themes, although the depth of the filtering varies.
This week Internet Monitor explores the most recent updates on net neutrality in the US, how Singaporean government computers are going offline, the removal of pro-Palestinian content on Facebook and Twitter, and how Russian hackers are trying to learn more about Donald Trump.
This week, Internet Monitor reflects upon the closing of Google Moderator, YouTube's copyright woes in Russia, the latest partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom, Turkey's most recent Twitter ban, and the state of Snowden.
Tougher Internet filtering policies are being applied throughout Southeast Asia. The Gambia House of Representatives has enacted a new law banning criticism of government officials online. Russia has been pushing new legislation that allows copyright holders to ask courts to block access not only to allegedly pirated content, but also to hyperlinks to such content.
Singapore recently passed a measure that requires online news websites to obtain licenses, pay a $40,000 bond, and agree to remove "prohibited content" within one day. Netizens protest, saying the measure's vague language could force bloggers and grassroots journalism out of business and chill their speech.