Earlier this month, EFF called for the protection of Saudi blogger and journalist Hamza Kashgari, who had fled Saudi Arabia after tweets he wrote about the Prophet Mohammed provoked clerics to demand that he be tried for apostasy, and members of the public to call for his murder. Kashgari had been a columnist for the Jeddah-based newspaper Al Bilad until outrage over the tweets, when Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja ordered Kashgari “not to write in any Saudi paper or magazine,” an order which Kashgari also posted to his Twitter account. As outrage mounted, Kashgari retracted his statements, deleted his Twitter account, apologized for the comments, and finally fled the country in response to mounting threats on his life.
PayPal has instituted a new policy aimed at censoring what digital denizens can and can’t read, and they’re doing it in a way that leaves us with little recourse to challenge their policies in court. Indie publisher Smashwords has notified contributing authors, publishers, and literary agents that they would no longer be providing a platform for certain forms of sexually explicit fiction. This comes in response to an initiative by online payment processor PayPal to deny service to online merchants selling what they deem to be obscene written content. PayPal is demonstrating, again and to our great disappointment, the dire consequences to online speech when service providers start acting like content police.
12 years ago, hundreds of thousands of Serbians filled the streets of Belgrade, blocking the entire city in protest of Slobodan Milošević’s regime. At the time such a widespread protest had seemed unimaginable. Before the uprising, the mood in the country was melancholic, cynical, and hopeless amid disillusionment with a government that became plagued with corruption, repression, and war.
Earlier this week we released version 2.0.1 of HTTPS Everywhere for Firefox, and also, a new beta version for Chrome! You can install HTTPS Everywhere here:
Last Saturday, the Canadian government announced it would put proposed online surveillance legislation temporarily "on pause" following sustained public outrage generated by the bill. Since its introduction two weeks ago, Canadians have spoken out en masse against Bill C-30, the Canadian government’s latest attempt to update police online surveillance powers. As currently drafted, the bill represents a dramatic and dangerous attempt to leverage online service providers as agents of state surveillance.