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Dictatorships get to grips with Web 2.0

first_img Organisation News A decade ago, regime opponents in Vietnam or Tunisia were still printing leaflets in their basements andhanding them out to fellow militants at clandestine meetings. Independent newspapers were no morethan a few hastily-stapled photocopies distributed secretly.These days,“subversive” or “counter-revolutionary” material goes on the Internet and political dissidentsand journalists have become “cyber-dissidents” and “online journalists.” Most of them know how tocreate a blog, organise a chat group, make phone calls through a computer and use a proxy to get roundcensorship.New technology allows them to receive and share news out of sight of the authorities. The Web is alsoa blessing for human rights groups, which can now build a file on a political prisoner with a few mouseclicksinstead of over weeks and sometimes months.The Web makes networking much easier, for politicalactivists as well as teenagers. Unfortunately, this progress and use of new tools by activists is nowbeing matched by the efforts of dictatorships to fight them. Dictators too have entered the world of Web2.0.Sixty people are currently in jail for posting criticism of governments online, with China’s 50 making itby far the world’s worst prison for cyber-dissidents.The Chinese have been aped by other countries -four such dissidents are in jail in Vietnam, three in Syria and one each in Tunisia, Libya and Iran.Parliaments in these countries, along with the local cyber-police, closely follow the latest technologicaldevelopments. When instant messaging, such as MSN Messenger, became all the rage, China asked thefirms that made these programmes to automatically block some key-words, making it impossible forChinese users to talk about the Dalai Lama and Taiwanese independence, for example.And with the success of YouTube, China and Iran are keen to filter the videos that appear there – toomuch “subversive” content for China and too much “immorality” for Iran. In Vietnam, police and dissidentschase play cat-and-mouse with “chat rooms” and three people were arrested there in October2005 for discussing democracy on Paltalk, a US website that organises remote meetings. One of them,Truong Quoc Huy, was still in prison at the end of 2006.Spyware that filters e-mailThe Internet was not designed to protect message confidentiality. It is fast and fairly reliable but alsoeasy to spy on and censor. From the first mouse-click, users leave a trail and reveal information aboutthemselves and what their tastes and habits are.This data is very valuable to commercial firms, who sortthrough it to target their advertising better.The police also use it.The best way to spy on journalists a few years ago was still to send a plainclothesofficer to stand outside their house.This can be done more cheaply and efficiently now, because machinescan spy, report back and automatically prevent subversive conversations.Cuba has installed spyware in cybercafé computers so that when users type “banned” words in an email,such as the name of a known political dissident, they see a warning that they are writing thingsconsidered a “threat to state security” and the Web navigator then immediately shuts down.The Internet giants work with the dictatorshipsThe predators of free expression are not all the same. China keeps a tight grip on what is written anddownloaded by users and spends an enormous amount on Internet surveillance equipment and hiresarmies of informants and cyber-police. It also has the political weight to force the companies in the sector – such as Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems – to do what it wants them to, and all haveagreed to censor their search-engines to filter out websites overcritical of the authorities.This makes the regime’s job very much easier because these firms are the main entry-points to theInternet. If a website is not listed by these search-engines, material posted on them has about as muchchance of being found as a message in a bottle thrown into the sea. Not all countries are strong enough to make the US multinational Internet firms bend to their will, butall authoritarian regimes are now working to censor the Web, even countries in sub-Saharan Africa.TheEthiopian regime of prime minister Meles Zenawi has blocked openly-critical websites and blogs sinceMay 2006 and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is considering a law allowing security forces tointercept online messages without reference to the courts. One of the first moves by Thailand’s militaryrulers after their September coup was to censor news websites, even foreign ones, that criticized thetakeover.When a dictator cannot effectively censor the Internet, he can take a more radical approach – barringInternet access to virtually everyone, as in North Korea and Turkmenistan. And when a tyrant dies, asTurkmenistan’s “President-for-Life” Separmurad Nyazov did in December, his successor starts work bydeclaring his policy towards the Internet.These days, dictators talk about the Web when they want toshow their regime is progressive.Internet users are organising themselves and conjuring up new solutions to tackle these dictatorships,get round the filters and protect their anonymity.They use and create new technology, encrypt their emailand use other tools that are still not detected by cyber-police.The Web phone service Skype, for example, has made it much easier for journalists – and ReportersWithout Borders – to communicate with their sources. It works especially well because it is encryptedand so conversations are hard to tap. But China has already signed an agreement with Skype to blockkey-words, so how can we be sure our conversations are not being listened to? How do we know ifSkype will not also allow (or already has allowed) the Chinese police to spy on its customers?It has become vital to examine new technology from a moral standpoint and understand the secondaryeffects of it. If firms and democratic countries continue to duck the issue and pass off ethical responsibilityon others, we shall soon be in a world where all our communications are spied on. A decade ago, regime opponents in Vietnam or Tunisia were still printing leaflets in their basements and handing them out to fellow militants at clandestine meetings. Independent newspapers were no more than a few hastily-stapled photocopies distributed secretly. These days,“subversive” or “counter-revolutionary” material goes on the Internet and political dissidents and journalists have become “cyber-dissidents” and “online journalists.”… February 1, 2007 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Dictatorships get to grips with Web 2.0 center_img RSF_en ——————–Create your blog with Reporters Without Borders and read our “blog review” : www.rsfblog.org . Help by sharing this informationlast_img read more

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Stewart Copeland, Andrian Belew, & More Form Gizmodrome Supergroup, Release First Single

first_imgDrummer Stewart Copeland (The Police / Oysterhead) and guitarist Adrian Belew (King Crimson / David Bowie) have joined with Italian singer Vittorio Cosma and bassist Mark King (Level 42) to form Gizmodrome. The quartet got together in Milan, and out of those sessions came the group’s self-titled debut album, set for a September 15th release via earMUSIC.Copeland discussed the creation of the group in a press statement: “Vittorio and I have been playing together for years, in Italy, but it got serious when Adrian and Mark joined us for 15 days of wild creativity in a Milan recording studio….If you put the right guys together in a rehearsal room, ‘strange things’ definitely happen!”The album, produced by Italian producer Claudio Dentes, features the single “Amaka Pipa,” which can be listened to below:last_img read more

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Health alert on Tuberculosis (TB)

first_imgLocalNews Health alert on Tuberculosis (TB) by: – March 7, 2012 Share Share Sharing is caring! 63 Views   no discussionscenter_img The Ministry of Health wishes to inform the general public that there is an increase in the number of patients suffering from Tuberculosis, better known as TB, who have been admitted to the Princess Margaret Hospital during the last three (3) weeksPhoto credit: nvonews.comThough Tuberculosis has been in existence in Dominica for a very long time, the Ministry is concerned about the increased number of patients who are admitted for treatment at the hospital.. Presently there are six (6) patients receiving treatment at the Princess Margaret Hospital. These include three(3)new cases and three reactivated cases for this year .Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria (germ) Mycobacterium tuberculosis .It usually attacks the lungs causing a condition called Pulmonary TB. TB may also occur outside the lungs in the lymph nodes, bones .kidneys, spine and brain. However, TB of the lung is the most common form of the disease. An infected person can spread the infection to other people by contact with other persons when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing or spit.Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB) of the lungs include:• A cough that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks• Weight loss• fever• Night sweats• loss of appetite• Coughing up blood.. Persons with symptoms should report to their doctor, nearest Health Care Provider or to the Princess Margaret Hospital.TB is a curable disease. All patients who are infected with TB need to be admitted to the Hospital until such time that they can no longer transmit the disease to other persons. The general public is advised to practice safety measures such as:1. Ensuring the BCG vaccination of children to prevent TB.2. Schedule a TB test if you have been exposed to someone with tuberculosis. 3. Receive additional testing if a TB test is positive. Tests may include a chest x-ray and a sputum test.4. Begin immediate treatment as prescribed by your doctor5. Avoid overcrowding The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the population that it has stepped up the vigilance in the fight against Tuberculosis and solicits the support of the general public in preventing an increase in the number of TB cases Dominica.Press Release Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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Super Eagles in Bonus Dispute ahead of Clash with Syli Stars

first_img* NFF thanks President Buhari after receiving AFCON money yesterdaySuper Eagles players were in bonus dispute with officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday leading to Captain of the team, John Obi Mikel skipping the scheduled mandatory press conference to herald Nigeria’s second Group B clash with Guinea today.The players were protesting against the non-payment of their $10,000 bonus for the win Super Eagles has climbed up to the third place in Africa, 44th in the world “My player (Ahmed Musa) couldn’t attend the press conference today because they have a very important meeting,” coach Gernot Rohr told reporters shortly after the conference.“I just hope the situation can be resolved so we can focus on what we have in front of us.”The squad was an hour late for training on Tuesday.However, in a swift move to douse the tension generated by the non-payment of the allowance, the Federal Government released part of the money approved for participation of some national teams in international competitions, including the Super Eagles’ participation at the on-going 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi (in the absence of President Amaju Pinnick who is fully involved with organization as President of AFCON) said on Tuesday that the federation received part of the money on Tuesday morning and had immediately launched the process to convert the sum to American Dollars to pay the players their only outstanding entitlement – the win bonus for the match against Burundi in Alexandria on Saturday evening – and for subsequent matches.“We want to specially thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen interest in resolving this matter quickly, which has enabled us to receive part of the money in record time. We have immediately started the process of converting the money to American Dollars at the Central Bank in order to pay the players the bonus for the win over Burundi three days ago as well as plan for subsequent games.”Akinwunmi added that on Monday, 24th June, the NFF had transferred to the players and their officials their camp allowances up to the last day of the group phase matches at the AFCON 2019, as well as the appearance fee for the friendly against Zimbabwe in Asaba on 8th June.“We have paid these monies through our funds managers, Financial Derivatives Company on Monday, 24th June 2019. The only issue we had was that some of the players did not send their bank accounts and instead authorized the bank to pay their monies to some other individuals. The bank requested clear authorization for this to happen.“I was on a telephone discussion with the Captain of the team Mikel Obi this morning and can safely say that all clarifications have been made and the usual cordial relationship and understanding between the players and we the administrators is still intact.“I have challenged them to go all out and win the trophy assuring them that their monies all the way to the final is guaranteed. It is now for the players to focus on the championship and deliver glory to the nation. I have no doubt of their ability to do that.”Akinwunmi also specially commended the maturity of the team and its leaders, including skipper John Obi Mikel and for their unflinching focus on the job at hand which is winning the AFCON Trophy.Pay rows have often surrounded Nigerian teams, while players have boycotted training during important qualifiers or at major tournaments over unpaid fees.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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