Week in Review: 25 May 2018

by Dan Bateyko

Apple tells app developers to remove VoIP framework in China

Earlier this week, Apple sent notice to iOS developers in China to alter or remove Apple’s VoIP framework CallKit in compliance with a newly enforced regulations, reports Apple news site 9to5Mac and Ars Technica . While CallKit does not actually allow for calling, the framework provides an interface for apps to look more native in iOS.  According to TechCrunch , the changes affect some two dozen apps, including Google’s Duo Video and Cisco’s Webex teams.

Apple removed Skype last summer likely for similar concerns that the service did not comply with local law.

Malaysia lifts block on news websites

After a historic change in Malaysian government, civil society groups are calling on their new representatives to reverse many of the previous ruling parties policies, including those that affect speech online, reports Global Voices . The Malaysian human rights group Lawyers for Liberty released a press statement earlier this month urging the Malaysian media regulator (MCMC) to unblock websites that were blocked after their reporting on government corruption; as of May 17, many news websites and the hosting platform Medium are now accessible.

During the election, the transparency organization Sinar Project reported that the MCMC blocked a live results website, live.undi.info. In a statement on Facebook , MCMC claimed that it blocked the website following public concerns that the information shared by the website was inaccurate. In the same statement, MCMC stated that it moved to unblock news websites after an official report on the 1MDB corruption scandal had been released.

According to Global Voices reporting, civil society groups are now honing in on the recently passed Anti-Fake News law—20 organizations joined a coalition statement calling for clearer statements on the potential for repeal and the need for a Freedom of Information Act.

To learn more about historical developments in Malaysian Internet censorship, read Internet Monitor’s interview with The Sinar Project here.

Internet Policy Observatory releases paper on self-censorship in Kyrgyzstan

The Annenberg School for Communication Internet Policy Observatory released a white paper this week on self-censorship online and offline in Kyrgyzstan. The authors provides a historical account of Kyrgyzstan’s media and draw on an online survey of college students to assess self-censorship behavior. Among the report’s findings, the author’s report that “social media users in Kyrgyzstan are more likely to self-censor online than in offline environment.” The full paper can be found on the Internet Policy Observatory website here.