China recently enacted a new policy that allows Chinese Internet users to be charged with defamation (and sentenced to up to 3 years in jail) if they post a rumor online that is reposted more than 500 times or visited more than 5000 times. Earlier this month, a 16-year-old boy was detained under the policy for criticizing local police on Weibo.
Internet connectivity in Sudan dropped to almost nil last week, the result of a suspected government Web shut down in the face of anti-regime protests sparked by the ending of fuel subsidies. In the absence of Internet access, a group in Khartoum has launched a cell phone-based map of crowdsourced data about the protests.
News broke last Friday that the NSA has been documenting American citizen’s social media connections since 2010. According to the New York Times, the data that has been collected “can identify [Americans’] associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information.”
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