Week in Review: July 6, 2018

by Mary Meisenzahl

European Parliament rejects new copyright law

On July 5, the European Parliament voted against a controversial new copyright law . This vote came after the law was approved by the EU’s Legislative Committee earlier this summer. The two most controversial parts of the law, which leaders like Jimmy Wales and Tim Berners-Lee have opposed, are Articles 11 and 13. Article 11 , also called the “link tax,” would require platforms to pay for a license to link to news articles. Article 13 would require platforms to use filters that would prevent posting copyrighted content. This vote delays the final ruling, which will be decided by the European Parliament in September.

OONI releases report on Egyptian Internet censorship

OONI and AFTE published a joint report on the state of the Internet in Egypt this week based on measurements taken between January 2017 and May 2018. In the report, OONI found evidence of network anomalies that indicated websites were blocked from over 1000 URLs. More than 100 of the URLs were news outlets from both Egyptian and international sources, although the Egyptian government only officially announced that they would block 21 news websites. Websites that track human rights abuses were also blocked, including Human Rights Watch and Reporters without Borders.

Uganda’s social media tax goes into effect

On July 1 Uganda’s daily social media tax began. Users who had not paid 200 Ugandan shillings ($0.05) were unable to access social media Sunday morning. Some Ugandans have turned to VPNs to avoid the charge. President Yoweri Museveni tweeted a link to his blog where he explained that the tax was intended to reduce money going to foreign companies.