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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

Three Goats Heads

first_imgThe Three Goat’s Heads is the kind of pub that you only get in city centres. First impressions are that it is a joyless, characterless pub, staffed by disinterested graduate students and other ingrates, with bizarrely obscure (but not in a good way) range of beers.It’s a poky little venue on two floors, right next to the Union’s St Michael’s Street entrance, but it isn’t pokey in a charming way. The decor is unpleasant and the music is usually the esoteric taste of whoever is behind the bar (get there on a Friday afternoon for driller bass and techno).Why bother going then? George Street and its environs are riddled with similar pointless boozers. But it does have several redeeming features that saw it rocket from, “F**king awful, worse than the Cock and Camel,” to a coveted, “Ten pints out of ten!” rating during one night on the sauce.First, it’s tiny and there are two bars, so getting served takes about fifteen seconds. Second, it’s miraculously free of twats. With it being so close to some of Oxford’s worst pubs and, more worryingly, the Union, we feared a particularly noxious clientele, but we were greeted by cheery locals and inoffensive students.And crucially, they sell Ayingerbrau Pils, aka Magic Beer. Magic Beer is called Magic Beer because it has magical powers. Nominally it’s a strong pilsner, but we started to feel strangely pissed after the first pint. We were headed for a party at the naval mess, and after three pints we were sufficiently armed to make one hell of a mess. Rumours that people have drunk over five pints of this stuff are nothing short of lies.“That’s got some funky shit in it,” said Pat, swearing needlessly. “It’s petrol and mescaline,” explained Texas.Pat T Cake and The Boy TexasARCHIVE: 3rd Week TT 2003last_img read more

Unemployment Numbers Decrease in Florida

first_imgLast week’s jobless numbers are lower than the previous week around the country, they are also much lower in Florida.More than three-million more Americans are out of work according to the Labor Department.According to today’s report, more than 3.1 million workers filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week. That’s half-a-million fewer than the previous week’s total. More than 33-million U.S. workers have lost their jobs over the past seven weeks. The biggest increases in claims were in Washington, Georgia, New York, Oregon, and Alabama. The sharpest decreases were in California, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.Florida was most responsible for the big dip in unadjusted numbers, reporting about 260,000 fewer claims over the past week. Maryland reported a jump of 27,337.At the current pace, the week claims numbers should fall below 1 million by mid-June, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “We’re very hopeful that June will see the beginnings of a rebound as states begin to reopen,” Shepherdson said.The layoffs associated with social distancing practices have wiped out all of the job gains the economy has seen since the recovery from the Great Recession.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img—Houston outfielder Josh Reddick says he and other players have received death threats in the wake of the team’s sign-stealing scandal. Reddick told reporters in Florida that he received threats on social media and people have commented on pictures of his infant twins, saying they hope they get cancer. He said teammates have received threatening messages and he thinks it will be scary for his wife and children to join him on the road this season.EQUAL PAYAmerican women seek more than $66M in damages from US SoccerUNDATED (AP) — Players on the U.S. women’s national team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.The damages were included in slew of papers filed Thursday night in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ahead of a trial scheduled to start May 5. Update on the latest sports HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State and the family of the late head football coach Joe Paterno announced Friday they have resolved “outstanding issues” that had divided them, eight years after he was fired following assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation arrest. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012 and is serving a 30–to-60 year prison sentence.The university issued a statement, read by the chairman of the university board at a meeting, that it had agreed to pay “certain of the Paterno family’s expenses” and wished to move forward. The amount was not disclosed.The deal ends a lawsuit against the university by the Paternos’ son Jay Paterno, who is currently a member of the Penn State board. Jay Paterno had claimed the university-commissioned report into the scandal had unfairly tarnished him and made him unable to find work as a football coach.Joe Paterno was 85 when he died of cancer-related complications in January 2012.NHL-NEWS Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL LABORUnion committee rejects NFL labor deal; player reps to voteNEW YORK (AP) — The NFL players’ union executive committee voted 6-5 Friday to recommend rejecting the terms of a labor deal approved by NFL owners the previous day. In other NHL news:— The NHL-leading Boston Bruins have freed up salary cap space by trading veteran forward David Backes (BAK’-ehs) and a first-round draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Ondrej Kase (AHN’-dray KAH’-shah). Anaheim also acquired 20-year-old prospect defenseman Axel Andersson in the deal completed three days before the NHL’s trade deadline.— The Buffalo Sabres have placed suspended defenseman Zach Bogosian on unconditional waivers with the intention of terminating his contract. The move puts the Sabres in position to part ways with a disgruntled player who asked to be traded earlier this season and spent the past week refusing to report to the minors. Bogosian will have an opportunity to sign with another team to finish out the season.MLB-INDIANS-CARRASCO INJURYIndians RHP Carrasco day to day with mild hip flexor strain About 80,000 people are needed at the Olympics to provide free work which the IOC calls “key support to ensure the success of the games.”Tokyo organizers said the postponed sessions are “part of efforts to prevent the spread of infection of the novel coronavirus.” GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been diagnosed with a mild strain of his right hip flexor after feeling discomfort while doing squats in the weight room during spring training.The team said Friday that Carrasco was considered day to day after an MRI revealed the strain.Manager Terry Francona said Carrasco felt something in his upper leg when squatting on Wednesday.The 32-year-old pitcher made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia. He revealed that in June and returned as a reliever in September after treatment.In other MLB news:center_img UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-DOCTOR INVESTIGATIONDocuments: Michigan student says he reported doctor’s abuseANN ARBOR, Michigan (AP) — Documents show a doctor continued to work at the University of Michigan for decades after a supervisor confronted him about allegations of sex abuse. According to the documents released to The Associated Press on Friday, one former student told investigators that Dr. Robert E. Anderson was known by student athletes as “Dr. Drop your drawers Anderson.” That man says he told his wrestling coach and others that Anderson molested him during a medical exam in the 1970s. The documents say a former vice president of student life told police he had no idea that Anderson had remained at the school for decades after he confronted the doctor about the allegations.PENN STATE-ABUSEPenn State settles ‘outstanding issues’ with Paterno family Among the documents filed were the separate collective bargaining agreements of the U.S. men’s and women’s teams, which had not previously been made public.Players on the women’s national team sued the federation last March alleging institutionalized gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation between the men’s and women’s teams.LUGE-TRACK SAFETYUS, others pull out of Luge World Cup, citing safetyUNDATED (AP) — The U.S. has pulled its entire team out of this weekend’s series of World Cup luge races in Winterberg, Germany, while athletes from many nations are protesting what they are calling unsafe ice conditions. February 21, 2020 Blue Jackets lose their top scorerUNDATED (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have lost their top goal-scorer for the rest of the season. The team says forward Oliver Bjorkstrand fractured an ankle in Thursday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Friday that Bjorkstrand will be out eight to 10 weeks and might need surgery.Bjorkstrand has 21 goals and 15 assists with 12 penalty minutes in 49 games this season. He leads the club in goals, winning goals with five and multipoint games with 11.Columbus leads the NHL in man-games lost to injury this season. Also sidelined this season: All-Star defenseman Seth Jones, forwards Cam Atkinson and Josh Anderson and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (YOH’-nuhs kohr-pih-SAH’-loh). Austria has also withdrawn its entire team from the weekend events and even several sliders from Germany — on home ice, no less — have said they are not willing to race this weekend. The International Luge Federation offered a compromise of sorts Friday by saying it would shorten the race distance, but even that did not solve the intense disagreement between sliders and officials over the safety issue.Sliders from many nations have said there is too much ice buildup on certain curves, which significantly increases the chance of crashing.OLYMPIC VOLUNTEERS-CHINA OUTBREAKTokyo delays Olympic volunteer training because of virusTOKYO (AP) — While again stating there are no plans to cancel or delay the Tokyo Olympics, local organizers postponed training sessions for volunteers on Friday for at least two months because of the virus outbreak spreading from China. The owners’ proposal features a 17-game season, shorter preseason, larger rosters and limits on the number of international games. It will next be voted on by the 32 player representatives. Even if they reject it, the union is expected to bring the plan to the entire membership. Objections to an expanded regular season are considered the main stumbling block for player approval.If the NFLPA does not approve the terms, the current collective bargaining agreement, which expires in March 2021, would remain in effect and further talks would be required.In other NFL news:— The Chicago Bears have waived cornerback Prince Amukamara and speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel. Amukamara started 42 games over the past three seasons and gave the Bears a physical presence in the backfield. He was limited by a hamstring injury late last season and missed a game. Gabriel has 2,860 yards and 14 touchdown catches in six years with three teams. He caught 67 passes for 688 yards in 2018 after signing with the Bears but was limited because of concussions.— The Jacksonville Jaguars exercised contract options on receiver Chris Conley and free safety Jarrod Wilson. The moves potentially eliminate two areas of need for the team heading into free agency and the draft. The Jaguars now have Conley under contract through 2020 and Wilson through 2021. Wilson started all 16 games last season and led the team with 73 tackles and 1,186 snaps.last_img read more