Posts tagged reporters without borders

World Press Freedom Day, Redux

Additional imagery from Reporters Without Borders to go along with our earlier post.

Select to embiggen.

Without advanced technology, authoritarian regimes would not be able to spy on their citizens. Reporters Without Borders has for the first time compiled a list of five “Corporate Enemies of the Internet,” five private sector companies that it regards as “digital era mercenaries” because they sell products that are used by authoritarian governments to commit violations of human rights and freedom of information. They are Gamma, Trovicor, Hacking Team, Amesys and Blue Coat…

…Their products have been or are being used to commit violations of human rights and freedom of information. If these companies decided to sell to authoritarian regimes, they must have known that their products could be used to spy on journalists, dissidents and netizens. If their digital surveillance products were sold to an authoritarian regime by an intermediary without their knowledge, their failure to keep track of the exports of their own software means they did not care if their technology was misused and did not care about the vulnerability of those who defend human rights.

Reporters Without Borders, Era of the Digital Mercenaries.

Today is World Day Against Cyber-Censorship and for it, Reporters Without Borders is focusing on the five countries and five companies it believes are the worst in the world when it comes to censorship and surveillance.

A must read.

The press freedom situation in the Americas
fjp-latinamerica:

Reporters Without Borders just released their annual Press Freedom Index [PDF], along with this map.
The annual global indicator can also be broken down by region and, by means of weighting based on the population of each region, can be used to produce a score from zero to 100 in which zero represents total respect for media freedom. 
This produces a score of 17.5 for Europe, 30.0 for the Americas, 34.3 for Africa, 42.2 for Asia-Pacific and 45.3 for the former Soviet republics. Despite the Arab springs, the Middle East and North Africa region comes last with 48.5.
Here are some of the key findings concerning our region:
Jamaica and Costa Rica are the highest ranking country from the Americas, just ahead of Canada, the western hemisphere’s traditional leader. 
On the other hand, Cuba is still at the bottom, next to the usual underachieving countries: Syria, Iran, China, Sudan, Yemen, and the like. 
Mexico is one of the biggest disappointments, largely due to the high number of journalists and netizens killed therein. That ratio is similar to that of Somalia, Syria, and Pakistan. 
Argentina fell amid growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media about a new law regulating the broadcast media.
Chile is beginning to recover after plummeting 33 places in last year’s index (student protests).
A lack of pluralism, intermittent tension with the political authorities, harassment and self-censorship are the main reasons for the scant change in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama, where attacks on journalists tripled in the space of a year, local unions said. 
Brazil, South America’s economic engine, continued last year’s fall because five journalists were killed in 2012. Its media landscape is also badly distorted. Heavily dependent on the political authorities at the state level, the regional media are exposed to attacks, physical violence against their personnel, and court censorship orders, which also target the blogosphere.
Paraguay fell eleven places in the rankings after its President’s removal in a parliamentary “coup” on 22 June 2012, which had a big impact on state-owned broadcasting along with a wave of arbitrary dismissals against a backdrop of unfair frequency allocation.
In general, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, El Salvador, Haiti, the United States and the Dominican Republic have been doing fairly good lately. In contrast, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Honduras, delivered bad news this year (as expected). 
Read on for the full regional analysis.
FJP: We at the Future Journalism Project have been reporting on these issues for the last few months, hence the popularity of press freedom as a frequent discussion topic in these pages. So, please go ahead and follow us on Twitter.
Image: Adjusted partial screenshot of Freedom of the Press 2013 Map, via Reporters Without Borders.

The press freedom situation in the Americas

fjp-latinamerica:

Reporters Without Borders just released their annual Press Freedom Index [PDF], along with this map.

The annual global indicator can also be broken down by region and, by means of weighting based on the population of each region, can be used to produce a score from zero to 100 in which zero represents total respect for media freedom.

This produces a score of 17.5 for Europe, 30.0 for the Americas, 34.3 for Africa, 42.2 for Asia-Pacific and 45.3 for the former Soviet republics. Despite the Arab springs, the Middle East and North Africa region comes last with 48.5.

Here are some of the key findings concerning our region:

  • Jamaica and Costa Rica are the highest ranking country from the Americas, just ahead of Canada, the western hemisphere’s traditional leader. 
  • On the other hand, Cuba is still at the bottom, next to the usual underachieving countries: Syria, Iran, China, Sudan, Yemen, and the like. 
  • Mexico is one of the biggest disappointments, largely due to the high number of journalists and netizens killed therein. That ratio is similar to that of Somalia, Syria, and Pakistan. 
  • Argentina fell amid growing tension between the government and certain privately-owned media about a new law regulating the broadcast media.
  • Chile is beginning to recover after plummeting 33 places in last year’s index (student protests).
  • A lack of pluralism, intermittent tension with the political authorities, harassment and self-censorship are the main reasons for the scant change in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama, where attacks on journalists tripled in the space of a year, local unions said. 
  • Brazil, South America’s economic engine, continued last year’s fall because five journalists were killed in 2012. Its media landscape is also badly distorted. Heavily dependent on the political authorities at the state level, the regional media are exposed to attacks, physical violence against their personnel, and court censorship orders, which also target the blogosphere.
  • Paraguay fell eleven places in the rankings after its President’s removal in a parliamentary “coup” on 22 June 2012, which had a big impact on state-owned broadcasting along with a wave of arbitrary dismissals against a backdrop of unfair frequency allocation.
  • In general, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, El Salvador, Haiti, the United States and the Dominican Republic have been doing fairly good lately. In contrast, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Honduras, delivered bad news this year (as expected). 

Read on for the full regional analysis.

FJP: We at the Future Journalism Project have been reporting on these issues for the last few months, hence the popularity of press freedom as a frequent discussion topic in these pages. So, please go ahead and follow us on Twitter.

Image: Adjusted partial screenshot of Freedom of the Press 2013 Map, via Reporters Without Borders.

The Battle Over Online Freedom Continues
The clash between citizens and governments over online freedom of expression is growing, according to a new report by Reporters Without Borders.
Called Beset by Online Surveillance and Content Filtering, Netizens Fight On, the study explores how both authoritarian and democratic governments attempt to control online activity. To do so, the authors label a number of countries such as Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Bahrain, Iran and Turkmenistan among others as “Enemies of the Internet”; and say countries such as Australia, France, Egypt, Eritrea and India among others are “Countries Under Surveillance.”
Through this lens, the report’s authors declare, “More than ever before, online freedom of expression is now a major foreign and domestic policy issue,” and outline how:
Internet and mobile phone shutdowns are occurring more frequently
Content filtering is increasing
Content removal is increasing
Pressure on Internet Service Providers and Web site owners to police content is increasing
Surveillance is more effective and more intrusive
Government propaganda is increasing
Cyber attacks are increasing
Arrests, raids and roundups are increasing
While not a pretty picture for online freedoms the report does include examples of how citizens are fighting back. For example:

In order to combat increasingly competent censors, self-styled “hacktivists” have been giving technical assistance to vulnerable netizens to help them share information in the face of pervasive censorship. The campaigns on behalf of the Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad and Syria’s Razan Ghazzawi have transcended international borders. The hashtag #OpSyria, started by Telecomix – a decentralised network of net activists committed to freedom of expression – has allowed Syrians to broadcast videos of the crackdown.

An overview of the report can be found here. The full report is available here (PDF).
Image: Wordcloud of Beset by Online Surveillance and Content Filtering, Netizens Fight On. Created with Wordle.

The Battle Over Online Freedom Continues

The clash between citizens and governments over online freedom of expression is growing, according to a new report by Reporters Without Borders.

Called Beset by Online Surveillance and Content Filtering, Netizens Fight On, the study explores how both authoritarian and democratic governments attempt to control online activity. To do so, the authors label a number of countries such as Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Bahrain, Iran and Turkmenistan among others as “Enemies of the Internet”; and say countries such as Australia, France, Egypt, Eritrea and India among others are “Countries Under Surveillance.”

Through this lens, the report’s authors declare, “More than ever before, online freedom of expression is now a major foreign and domestic policy issue,” and outline how:

  • Internet and mobile phone shutdowns are occurring more frequently
  • Content filtering is increasing
  • Content removal is increasing
  • Pressure on Internet Service Providers and Web site owners to police content is increasing
  • Surveillance is more effective and more intrusive
  • Government propaganda is increasing
  • Cyber attacks are increasing
  • Arrests, raids and roundups are increasing

While not a pretty picture for online freedoms the report does include examples of how citizens are fighting back. For example:

In order to combat increasingly competent censors, self-styled “hacktivists” have been giving technical assistance to vulnerable netizens to help them share information in the face of pervasive censorship. The campaigns on behalf of the Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad and Syria’s Razan Ghazzawi have transcended international borders. The hashtag #OpSyria, started by Telecomix – a decentralised network of net activists committed to freedom of expression – has allowed Syrians to broadcast videos of the crackdown.

An overview of the report can be found here. The full report is available here (PDF).

Image: Wordcloud of Beset by Online Surveillance and Content Filtering, Netizens Fight On. Created with Wordle.

The US ranks 47 on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index
Coming in at the top two spots are Finland and Norway.
Coming just before the US: Tawain, Comoros and South Korea.
Just after: Argentina, Romania and Latvia.
Via Reporters Without Borders:

The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

The US ranks 47 on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index

Coming in at the top two spots are Finland and Norway.

Coming just before the US: Tawain, Comoros and South Korea.

Just after: Argentina, Romania and Latvia.

Via Reporters Without Borders:

The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

There was no justification for preventing journalists from covering a political event of this importance. It was their job to cover it. The media should not have to pay the price of the government’s paranoia. The judicial authorities should immediately release the journalists and bloggers still in police custody.

Reporters Without Borders criticizing Occupy Wall Street coverage arrests? 

No, Reporters Without Borders criticizing Russian election coverage arrests.

Fifty-seven journalists killed in 2010

Fewer journalists were killed in 2010 than the previous year but more were kidnapped, Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report.

Via nightline:

Vivid Reporters Without Borders awareness campaign.
via copyranter

Nice work. Here’s a Reporters without Borders PSA we worked on.

Via nightline:

Vivid Reporters Without Borders awareness campaign.

via copyranter

Nice work. Here’s a Reporters without Borders PSA we worked on.