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Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health

Every time you place a call in Ethiopia, you get an educational message about coronavirus prevention – but that only helps if you can make a call. Millions of Ethiopians living under a months-long government-imposed shutdown of internet and…
A volunteer provides hand sanitizer to passengers entering a bus
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Criminalizing Speech Won’t Solve Problem

Hate and dangerous speech is a serious and growing problem in Ethiopia, both online and offline. It has contributed to the growing ethnic tensions and conflicts across the country that have created more than 1.4 million new internally…
Internet café in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia.
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Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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A left-wing political activist has been convicted of inciting separatism and extremist activities, the latest in a series of criminal prosecutions in Russia against people who dare speak their minds online. Unless the…
Russia's President Putin meets with representatives of Internet Initiatives Development Fund outside of Moscow, March 27, 2015.
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Last June, Facebook locked the account of “Happy Addis”, an Ethiopian LGBT activist who runs Facebook groups for gay Ethiopians. The reason? His Facebook profile does not list his real name. But Happy Addis had good reason not to want his real name…
Facebook real name
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The Internet has been long described as an “island of freedom” in Russia’s dramatically shrinking space for free speech – the cyber inheritor of the kitchen, which was the only (relatively) safe place for debate in the Soviet era. But, alarmed by this…
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An open Internet offers both benefits and risks for human rights. It has allowed activists anywhere to have global impact and hold institutions accountable. But digital technologies have enabled surveillance on an unprecedented scope and scale. When…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…