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Concerted cyber-attacks and draconian bill reinforce threat to online freedom

first_img June 18, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concerted cyber-attacks and draconian bill reinforce threat to online freedom RussiaEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information RussiaEurope – Central Asia Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing to go further News Follow the news on Russia News RSF_en center_img May 5, 2021 Find out more There are growing signs that the government is trying to tightening its control of the Internet while a new wave of Distributed Denial of Service attacks on independent news websites accompanied the latest major opposition demonstration, on 12 June.The websites of the radio Echo of Moscow, the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd TV and Tayga Info were all blocked by DDoS attacks as soon as the protest got under way. This kind of cyber-attack has become a regular event during opposition demonstrations since last December’s parliamentary elections.The authorities are trying to give a legal underpinning to attempts to reinforce online controls, citing the need to combat extremism and protect minors. Article 4 of a bill that parliamentarians from all four parties in the Duma submitted to the family commission on 7 June proposes a unified register of Internet domains and websites containing banned content. The commission has until 30 June to discuss and amend the bill before sending it to the Duma.The proposed register would be created and run by an agency chosen by the government. According to the current version of the bill, content regarded as particularly harmful – including pornography, content promoting drug use, suicide or extremist ideas and content harmful to children – would be put on the blacklist immediately. Other content could be referred to the courts for a decision.“While we understand this bill’s aim, we are very disturbed by the methods it would use, especially the possibly of blocking access to websites without referring to the courts,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the Duma to reject the bill because we think it would endanger civil liberties and contravene the international conventions that Russia has signed.”Article 4 of the bill, which defines the circumstances in which a site would be added to the blacklist, is ambiguous. According to paragraphs 6 and 7, the owner of a site that has been added to the register because of “bad” content has 48 hours to remove the offending content, but paragraph 8 suggests that a site will not be added to the register until after this deadline has expired.This contradiction makes it impossible to clearly identify the reason for which a site would be added to the register. Is it the presence of “bad” content that is decisive, or is it the owner’s refusal to remove the offending content?The bill is all the more disturbing for allowing hosting companies and Internet Service Providers to restrict access to a site when the owner refuses to remove content.The bill would reinforce the pressure that Russia seems to want to put on ISPs, hosting companies and other technical intermediaries to block sites with “bad” content. On 27 March, St. Petersburg deputy prosecutor Igor Rezonov told local ISPs that, on the basis of nothing more than a written request from the prosecutor’s office, they would be expected to block access to “websites such as online casinos and sites promoting extremism, drug use or paedophilia.” The reason given for this initiative was the difficulty of bringing legal actions against such websites as they are often located abroad. But the threat of prosecution for failure to cooperate forces ISPs to act as Internet police, a role for which they have no legitimacy, while the lack of any independent control increases the possibility of abuses and disproportionate censorship.Furthermore, the definition of “extremism,” a label often used to silence government critics, is too vague. The blocking of the Ruelect.com news website during last December’s elections was a good illustration of this.“The deputy prosecutor’s initiative raised a number of questions to which we have obtained no answers, although we wrote to the prosecutor’s office on 5 April,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They are similar to the questions raised by the new bill. What criteria would be used to select the sites for blocking? What mechanisms would be used to safeguard against abuses? What sanctions are envisaged for ISPs that refuse to comply? And is a filtering system envisaged, with all the risks this entails for online freedom of expression?”When a website has to be blocked, it should be done in a legally-prescribed and transparent manner on the basis of a court order. Any generalized filtering system should be ruled out. In a May 2011 report, United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue said the flow of information via the Internet should be restricted only “in few, exceptional, and limited circumstances prescribed by international human rights law.”La Rue’s report added that: “Holding intermediaries liable for the content disseminated or created by their users severely undermines the enjoyment of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, because it leads to self-protective and over-broad private censorship, often without transparency and the due process of the law.”Russia is classified as a country “under surveillance” in the latest Reporters Without Borders report on “Enemies of the Internet,” which was released in March. June 2, 2021 Find out more News News Receive email alerts Organisation May 21, 2021 Find out more Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruptionlast_img read more

Editorial – A question of choice

first_imgAdvertisement NewsEditorial – A question of choiceBy John Keogh – October 2, 2015 873  THIS week the public representatives of Limerick city and county had the opportunity to call on the government to hold a referendum on whether or not to repeal the eighth amendment of the Constitution.This amendment, which was passed in 1983, introduced a constitutional ban on abortion.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Councillors were not asked to vote on whether or not they were in favour of abortion, but merely to ask the government to put the matter before the people of Ireland and let the electorate decide for themselves.This seems to have been lost on many of our public representatives, as the motion was voted down by 23 to 12.Regardless of their personal views on abortion, which they’re perfectly entitled to hold, the members of Limerick City and County Council showed a lack of understanding of the basic principles of democracy by failing to lobby for a referendum that many of their constituents would like the chance to vote on.Indeed, just three months ago, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recommended that Ireland hold another referendum on abortion.The last referendum was held 13 years ago in 2002, before many of the women of childbearing age in Ireland today were eligible to vote.They are the ones who will be affected by Ireland’s abortion laws, whether it is an 18-year-old student experiencing a crisis pregnancy, or a 30-year-old married woman facing a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality during a much-wanted and longed for pregnancy.Neither of them have had the chance to cast their vote on the matter yet.Nonetheless, one by one, 23 of the largely male and middle-aged members of Limerick City and County Council voted against asking the government to let these women have their say.One by one, the councillors spoke at length about their views on abortion, missing the point entirely, and missing the opportunity to give the people they represent the chance to express their own opinions through the ballot box. Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Print WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Facebook Twitter TAGSabortioneighth amendmentlimerickLimerick City and County Councilreferendum WhatsAppcenter_img Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Email Previous articleLimerick: where east meets westNext articleBasketball – National Intermediate Cup Brings All Four Provinces Together John Keoghhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Linkedin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed livelast_img read more

Delivery of Social Housing units in Donegal fell 40% below target last year

first_imgHomepage BannerNews The delivery of Social Authority Housing units in Donegal for 2015 was 40% below target in 2015.Sinn fein have revealed that out of the Governments own target to deliver 65 housing units to the county, only 37 were delivered as of November last year.Currently there are 2,560 applicants on the local authority’s housing waiting list according to figures obtained by Sinn Fein Election Candidate Gary Doherty from Donegal County Council in December.He says the Governments initial target was measly to begin with and it’s simply not good enough:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/gary-2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Facebook Delivery of Social Housing units in Donegal fell 40% below target last year Facebook Twitter By admin – February 13, 2016 Google+ Previous articleUnited rally over future of Donegal Community Hospitals takes place todayNext articleMixed results for Donegal interest in the Ulster Post Primary Schools Championships admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton WhatsAppcenter_img Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Pinterest GAA decision not sitting well with Donegal – Mick McGrath Google+ Twitter Pinterest Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Nine Til Noon Show – Listen back to Wednesday’s Programme WhatsApplast_img read more

Grid operator says Texas electricity now 30% carbon-free

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Texas may be the center of the U.S. oil and gas industry, but the latest data shows that the state’s competitive energy market is increasingly favoring clean energy over fossil fuel alternatives.New information from state grid operator ERCOT shows that carbon-free resources made up more than 30 percent of its 2018 energy consumption, and a slightly larger percentage of its 2019 generation capacity. In both cases, the largest share of credit goes to the state’s massive wind farms, which provided 18.6 percent of 2018 energy and make up 23.4 percent of 2019 capacity, followed by nuclear power, which served 10.9 percent of last year’s needs and will provide 5.4 percent of this year’s capacity.Solar, meanwhile, only made up a sliver of the 1.3 percent of last year’s energy use served by “other” resources such as hydropower, biomass and fuel oil. But solar will make up 2.1 percent of this year’s generation capacity, in a testament to the small but fast-growing utility-scale solar market developing in the state.ERCOT’s achievement is largely a result of the economics of wind and solar power, plus a healthy dollop of state energy policy to integrate its western wind resources to eastern cities, known as competitive renewable energy zones (CREZ). Since 2009, about when CREZ got started, wind generation capacity has grown from 6 percent to nearly 20 percent of ERCOT’s energy mix, while coal has fallen from 37 percent to 25 percent of ERCOT’s energy mix over the same time.Meanwhile, the amount of wind being curtailed due to lack of transmission and demand has shrunk from about 17 percent in 2009 to less than half a percent in recent years, a result of the $7 billion in new transmission enabled by CREZ, as well as ERCOT’s work to build weather forecasting and demand management into how it manages its grid.Solar meets only a fraction of ERCOT’s needs compared to wind, but its growth rate is much faster at present, with utility-scale projects in the state setting new low-price records alongside solar leaders like California, Arizona and Nevada. Much of this solar is in West Texas, where it can benefit from the same transmission investments that have enabled the wind industry, Rhodes noted.More: Texas grid operator reports fuel mix is now 30% carbon-free Grid operator says Texas electricity now 30% carbon-freelast_img read more