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ARCHIVES: Govt policies

February 2, 2011

Malawi amendment bans news 'not in public interest'

An amendment to Malawi's penal code, which became law last week, allows the government to ban any publication deemed contrary to public interest for an unspecified period of time, institutionalizing political censorship of the press, New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said.. On January 26, President Bingu wa Mutharika signed into law an amendment to Section 46 of the penal code that gives the information minister unchecked discretion to block a publication he or she deems... MORE
January 29, 2011

Chinese propaganda department in attack on “false news”

Chinese journalists are to undergo six-month training courses that will teach them how to “eradicate false news, improve the feeling of social responsibility and reinforce journalistic ethics.” The initiative comes from the Propaganda Department, directly linked to the Communist Party, and follows its announcement of 10 directives relating to the press in 2011. “In short, to make journalists themselves actors in censorship,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF)... MORE
January 29, 2011

Rwanda promises to bring freedom of expression laws in line with international standards

Rwanda became the 146 UN member state to be appraised under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism, at the 10th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). The review brought to the fore details of violations of the right to freedom of expression and attempts by the state delegation to justify its clampdown on independent media, political opponents and human rights defenders. ARTICLE 19's submission to the HRC in July 2010 highlighted three areas of concern which were reflected in the... MORE
January 28, 2011

Public order ordinance threatens freedom of expression in Tuvalu

A historic 14-day ban on large public meetings or gatherings ending this week in Funafuti must put Tuvalu's leadership on notice that freedom of assembly and expression are key to democratic rule, says the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF). The regional media freedom monitoring network says Tuvalu's first-ever invocation of its Public Order Ordinance on January 13, banning public gatherings or meetings on the capital island of Funafuti, will have trickle down impacts on free speech and free... MORE
January 19, 2011

Second wave of warning emails under controversial HADOPI law in France

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed concern over the decision of French authorities on the second stage of enforcement of the controversial HADOPI law, under which Internet users suspected of illegal file-sharing could end up having their Internet connection suspended. After starting to send warning emails on October 5, the authorities have announced that they are now sending out a second wave of emails accompanied by a certified letter. If violators... MORE
January 19, 2011

Vietnam adopts new decree “regulating” journalists and bloggers

Vietnam has issued a new decree regulating the activities of journalists and bloggers that includes provision for fines of up to 40 million dong (2,000 dollars) in a country in which the average salary is 126 dollars. “The government is demonstrating its determination to tighten its grip on news and information just as the ruling Communist Party is holding its congress,” Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) reacted. “This decree is trying to apply the censorship... MORE
January 14, 2011

Concern as Vietnam plays 'national security' censorship card

A new executive decree issued on January 6 in Vietnam that will give authorities greater powers to penalise journalists, editors, and bloggers who report on issues deemed as sensitive to national security, New York-based press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. The new media regulations were issued amid a mounting clampdown on dissent shortly before Wednesday's opening of the 2011 Communist Party Congress. "Ultimately, this new decree aims to increase government... MORE
January 14, 2011

Zimbabwe hikes media fees under draconian media law

Zimbabwe's power-sharing government should repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Committee to Protect Journalists said after a late 2010 amendment to the legislation hiked mandatory registration and accreditation fees for the press working in the country by as much as 400 percent. Since 2002, AIPPA, a draconian piece of media-licensing legislation, has forced news organizations and journalists operating in Zimbabwe to annually register with the government... MORE
January 14, 2011

France wants to put Internet regulation on the G8 agenda

A member of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's administration has that Sarkozy wanted to gather representatives of Internet operators from each of the G8 countries prior to the upcoming international summit. That summit, which is currently slated for May 26-27, is to be held in Deauville, in northern France, according to Deutsche Welle. "The idea is that representatives from each G8 nation should meet in Deauville before the G8 and produce a report on these questions: What regulation is... MORE
January 14, 2011

France: Bill that would threaten online freedom continues its way through parliament

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed concern that the French government and parliament seem deaf to the concerns being voiced by civil society about a proposed domestic security law known as LOPPSI 2 and the threat it poses to online freedom of expression. “Despite all the criticism from free speech groups and certain legislators and despite reports showing that Internet filtering systems are ineffective, this bill is advancing steadily without the major... MORE