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Turkey’S New Internet Regulations Spark Fears Of New Wave Of Censorship

In 2006, Reporters without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press, started publishing a list of "Enemies of the Internet". There are risks to using circumvention software or other methods to bypass Internet censorship.

Every year, around the anniversary of the Zhanaozen massacre, when activists plan to organise demonstrations, internet users experience problems using WhatsApp, Instagram and other social networking sites. State propaganda portrays Kazakhstan as a haven of interethnic peace and stability and this view cannot be contradicted by online users. As pictured in the chart, government requests related to National Security reached an all-time high since 2009.

At the same time, there were warnings that Internet censorship might increase in other countries following the events of the Arab Spring. However, in 2013, Libyan communication company LTT blocked the pornographic websites. It even blocked the family-filtered videos of ordinary websites like Dailymotion. In contrast, countries such as China and Tunisia send users a false error indication. Tunisia has altered the block page functionality of SmartFilter, the commercial filtering software it uses, so that users attempting to access blocked websites receive a fake "File not found" error page.

Where regulators have direct access to and legal jurisdiction over web content hosts, the simplest strategy is to demand the removal of websites with inappropriate or illegal content. In several countries, a cease and desist notice sent from one private party to another, with the threat of subsequent legal action, is enough to convince web hosts to take down websites with sensitive content. Where authorities have control of domain name servers, officials can deregister a domain that is hosting restricted content, making the website invisible to the browsers of users seeking to access the site. Secondly, governments often block access to sites to suit their agenda.

Social Media Platforms

The report also mentions that Kazakhstan’s government requested Google to remove “the YouTube channel for a TV channel supportive of the opposition.” Google did not comply with the request. As a result, on 15 March, an alleged DVK supporter in Almaty was placed under house arrest. The following day, police interrogated Askar Shaigumarov, a video blogger from the city of Uralsk, regarding his “positive endorsement” of DVK. Over the years, people in Kazakhstan have grown used to taking their social and political commentaries to social media, and despite the government’s efforts, this practice may prove hard to eradicate. norton vpn reviews A court order issued on 13 March this year applied the “extremist” label to the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan , an opposition movement set up in 2001 and led from exile by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former minister and banker.

  • Unfortunately, if you have a VPN connection, some sites may not be available.
  • When using VPN, communication is performed via the server of the VPN provider.
  • There has been news that China has banned the use of VPNs, but this seems it still cannot be confirmed.
  • That is why the VPN is highly confidential, hidden to the state power that wants to suppress speech, but be careful when going to countries which ban VPN, they are serious with their regulation.

The court ruled that DVK “calls for forcible change of Kazakhstan’s constitutional order” and is therefore classified as extremist. Any show of support to DVK, including on social media, could land individual internet users in jail for up to two years for “participation in the activities of a banned public or religious association”. Not only do the big tech companies dominate ad revenue, they drive the news cycle. In 2017, two-thirds of American adults said they got news from social media sites.

In some countries, individuals that gain access to otherwise restricted content may be violating the law and if caught can be expelled, fired, jailed, or subject to other punishments and loss of access. Kazakhstan’s authorities have adopted increasingly restrictive legislative measures and opened criminal cases against social media users to silence critical voices and induce self-censorship online. In April and May 2016, during mass protests across the country against a proposed land reform, internet users had difficulties accessing Facebook and Google. Since access to internet is also curtailed on ordinary days, activists have speculated that law enforcement agencies have been testing their ability to shut down the whole internet, should it become necessary.

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