#IMWeekly: November 18, 2013
Iran A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication surveyed over 800,000 Persian-language Wikipedia articles in order to better understand how the Iranian government censors the Internet. Censored articles (963 in total were found to be blocked) covered a wide range of content—from human rights issues to sexual topics—with a particular attention given to information about individuals and/or groups that have expressed opposition to the state.
United States Critics of the FISA Improvements Act, a new Senate bill described by supporters as surveillance reform, argued that the bill would not only “make permanent a loophole permitting the NSA to search for Americans’ identifying information without a warrant” but also that it “contains an ambiguity that might allow the FBI, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies to do the same thing.” While the fifteen member Senate Intelligence Committee voted 11-4 to approve the legislation on October 31, a recently released committee report reveals that the members of the committee were sharply split on a number of proposed amendments that would have imposed stricter reforms.
Vietnam The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) created a petition calling on the Vietnamese government to release imprisoned blogger Nguyen Van Hai. Hai was convicted under a vague law that bars “conducting propaganda” for writing blog posts on sensitive political topics. He is currently serving a twelve-year sentence.
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