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.@accessnow Letter to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on possible breach of Cameroon loan term
In response to the Cameroon government's decision in 2017 to shut down internet access for months in the country's primarily Anglophone-inhabited regions, Access Now - along with Internet Sans Frontières and the University of Southern California School of Law International Human Rights Clinic - sent a letter this week to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Managing Director Christine Lagarde, arguing that the shutdown constituted a violation of the terms of an IMF loan to the country. Under the loan's terms, Cameroon was supposed to inform IMF of "[a]ny decision, decree, law, order or circular having economic or financial implications, from its publication date or effective date," which they allegedly did not do following the internet shutdown.

The letter reads, in part: "In at least two instances in 2017, one from January to April[6] (prior to the conclusion of the loan) and one beginning in October (after the conclusion of the loan), the Government of Cameroon shut or slowed down internet services in certain regions of the country...Internet access in the affected Anglophone regions has continued to be intermittently unavailable and problematically slowed or ineffective through 2018. We have not been able to locate information indicating that Cameroon reported these violations to the IMF and/or sought approval for these internet shutdowns...The result is that the Government’s unlawful interference with internet freedom has had a debilitating effect on the economy, affecting not only media companies but also businesses, as they are dependent upon internet for transactions and operations. A conservative estimate of the economic harm done places it at $3.2 million,[10] while others estimate that the costs may have been as high as $38.8 million...We understand that the IMF’s next review of Cameroon’s compliance with the terms of the loan is expected to be completed by 30 June 2018. We therefore respectfully request that the IMF ensure that Cameroon has complied with the terms of its loan by fully and accurately reporting '[a]ny decision, decree, law, order or circular having economic or financial implications, from its publication date or effective date.'"
otf  cameroon  africa  shutdown  access  blackout  imf 
21 days ago by dmcdev
Clio Awards GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
GIF cars, quote, muse, blackout, clio, clio awards, muse by clio, quotable, quote card Giphy ______
cars  quote  muse  blackout  clio  awards  by  quotable  card  wynajem  samochody  auta 
24 days ago by architektura
Chad has blocked social messaging apps and BBC amid political and economic anxiety
Chad has again shut down the Internet in the face of opposition political activity, blocking Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and BBC, Quartz reports, while pointing to OTF-supported OONI's confirmation of the blockage of the BBC website:

"From as early as Mar. 28, users started reporting a shutdown, according to the organization Internet Without Borders (IWB). The internet censorship watchdog, the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), also confirmed network measurement data showed the BBC’s news website was blocked. The cutoff comes after a national conference, boycotted by the opposition, recommended constitutional changes that could extend president Idriss Deby’s rule until 2033. Deby has ruled over the Central African nation since 1990...The current shutdown comes just days after advocacy groups submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council detailing evidence of breaching freedom of expression, access to information, and the right to privacy. The violations included the January internet blackout ahead of demonstrations organized by civil society organizations, besides the eight-month social media cutoff following controversial elections in 2016. IWB estimates all these blackouts combined cost the Chadian economy €18 million ($22.1 million)."
otf  chad  africa  shutdown  access  blackout  social 
april 2018 by dmcdev
The fifth anniversary of the SOPA-PIPA protest internet blackout.
Five years ago, on Jan. 18, 2012, the internet went dark. Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Reddit, and more than 100,000 other websites all participated in an internet blackout on an unprecedented scale to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

And those calls, emails, and petitions were dramatically effective: Almost overnight, many of the bills’ initial supporters withdrew their support, including several original co-sponsors of the legislation

Then, on Jan. 20, the New York Times reported that the bills were dead in the water. SOPA’s backers have since made repeat attempts to achieve the bill’s aims by other means, but after 2012’s massive mobilization, Congress has not been eager to take up similar legislation.
january 2018 by thotw
The Sopa blackout protest makes history | Amy Goodman | Technology | The Guardian
Sopa would allow copyright holders to complain to the US attorney general about a foreign website they allege is "committing or facilitating the commission of criminal violations" of copyright law. This relates mostly to pirated movies and music. Sopa would allow the movie industry, through the courts and the US attorney general, to send a slew of demands that internet service providers (ISPs) and search engine companies shut down access to those alleged violators, and even to prevent linking to those sites, thus making them "unfindable"

EFF's McSherry said, "No one asked the internet – well, the internet is speaking now. People are really rising up and saying: 'Don't interfere with basic Internet infrastructure. We won't stand for it.'"
january 2018 by thotw
Protest, Cyberspace-Style, for New Law - The New York Times
Deep inside the complex legislation is a provision that its supporters say will keep pornographers and pedophiles from preying on children who use personal computers. But opponents say the provision, known as the Communications Decency Act, goes too far by placing unconstitutional restrictions on speech over the global computer network known as the Internet, including an apparent ban on discussions of abortion issues on public computer networks.

The act makes it a crime to transmit or allow indecent material to be transmitted over public computer networks to which minors have access.

Representative Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, a Republican and longtime abortion opponent, inserted language into the bill that would effectively extend into the electronic age a 123-year-old legal prohibition, the Comstock Act of 1873, against disseminating abortion information. In comments on the House floor, Mr. Hyde denied that his intent was to halt discussions of abortion on the Internet or on-line services.

plaintiffs in the suit liken more to newspapers and bookstores than to broadcast media. They maintain that the "indecency" and "patently offensive" definitions are overly broad and vague
january 2018 by thotw
Why Wikipedia went down at midnight -
CNN: This is new, right, for Wikipedia to be taking a political action?
Wales: It's quite new. The only thing that's similar to it is that the Italian Wikipedia did do something similar that was the inspiration a few months back, against a law that was proposed by the Berlusconi government.

The issue here is that this law is very badly written, very broadly overreaching and, in at least the Senate version, would include the creation of a DNS (domain name system) blocking regime that's technically identical to the one that's used by China.

One of the provisions in the Senate version, which is still out there, is that under certain circumstances Internet providers would be required to block access to sites, by removing them from the DNS entry list. So if you type in the domain of a site that's been accused of being devoted to infringement of copyright you wouldn't get an answer of whether that site exists. That's exactly what China does. They do blocking at the DNS level.

It will be the English Wikipedia that is on strike, so to speak. Other language communities have done their own process of voting and polling. In general, I can say the Germans decided not to shut down their site but they are posting a banner in support ... Each language community makes their determination as to what they'd like to do.
january 2018 by thotw
Town Criers for the Net | WIRED
Safdar spends the remainder of his waking hours as half of the two-man crew behind Voters Telecommunications Watch, or VTW, a Net-based, grassroots political-action project that has kicked up some of the most visible dust surrounding the Communications Decency Act

Paint the Web Black campaign. Fanned by an eleventh-hour VTW email blitz, the campaign urged Web authors to turn their pages black the moment President Clinton signed the telecom bill into law on February 8.
january 2018 by thotw
On The Eve of SOPA's Blackout, Remembering The Last Time The Web Went Dark - Motherboard
the CDA sought to discourage the flow of pornographic and other "indecent" materials on the internet. Naturally, that had a lot of really bad implications for 1st Amendment rights, and the bill wound up inspiring the first major online protests in history.

Set into motion by a last-minute email blitz from the Voters Telecommunications Watch,

And while Smolan's editors worked feverishly to construct a colorful series of Web pages out of the flood of photos pouring in to "Mission Control" in San Francisco, hundreds of Internet protesters turned their Web sites black.
january 2018 by thotw
Remembering the Great Web Blackout | WIRED
Within days, sites ranging from Netscape to Steve's Own Home Page, and from the site of Senator Patrick Leahy to that of The Church of Zen Fatalism had agreed to present their pages in white text on a black background. Netscape's site included the tag: "Netscape supports open standards, including the First Amendment."

Congress passed the CDA on 1 February 1996. On 12 June, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia struck it down as being unconstitutional. Most people expect the Supreme Court to uphold the appeals court ruling this spring, but Winer warns that we shouldn't take it for granted. "We haven't won it yet," he says. "This will be the big test."
january 2018 by thotw
Stopped they must be; on this all depends. – Upvoted
There are powerful forces trying to censor the Internet, and a few months ago many people thought this legislation would surely pass. However, there’s a new hope that we can defeat this dangerous legislation.

You have made a difference in this fight; and as we near the next stage, and after much thought, talking with experts, and hearing the overwhelming voices from the reddit community, we have decided that we will be blacking out reddit on January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC).

We’re as addicted to reddit as the rest of you. Many of you stand with us against PIPA/SOPA, but we know support for a blackout isn’t unanimous. We’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it.

Troublemakers that they are, Reddit got the ball rolling on the blackout.
january 2018 by thotw
Protests against SOPA and PIPA - Wikipedia
On November 16, 2011, a first hearing by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee was marked by online protests involving blackened website banners, popularly described as "American Censorship Day".

Popular websites that moved domains included imgur,[28] the Wikimedia Foundation,[29] and Cheezburger — which stated it would remove over 1,000 domains from Go Daddy if they continued their support of SOPA.[30]

On December 10, 2011, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales drew attention to concerns over SOPA, which he described as a "much worse law" than the DDL intercettazioni (Wiretapping Bill)[43] in Italy some months earlier, which was being fast-tracked through the United States Congress under a "misleading title".

blackout similar to that held successfully in October 2011 by Italian Wikipedia editors over the proposed media censorship law in that country:[44]

Following initial informal discussions which resulted in a positive response, a formal consultation titled "SOPA Initiative" was opened by the community to consider specific proposals and preferred options. These included matters such as location (United States only or worldwide), and whether content should be disabled completely or still accessible after a click-through page. Eventually, the discussion led to a decision strongly in favor of a 24-hour global blackout of the site on January 18, disabling normal reading and editing functions, affirmed in a vote of approximately 1,800 editors

On January 17, 2012, Jimmy Wales affirmed the results of the community's decision and that the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the English Wikipedia website, would support the community's decision. He called for a "public uprising" against the proposed legislation, which critics fear would threaten free speech.

According to protest organizer Fight for the Future, more than 115,000 websites participated in the protest, including Google and Wikipedia.[

Time reported that before the day had ended, "the political dominoes began to fall ... then trickle turned into flood".[98] It named ten senators who had announced their switch to opposing the bills and stated that "nearly twice that many House members" had done so.[98]
january 2018 by thotw

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