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Blog   |   India

Five-day ban for Al-Jazeera in India, one year after map error

Viewers wanting to watch Al-Jazeera in India this week are greeted with a message, above, explaining the news outlet has been banned for five days. (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

On Wednesday, Al-Jazeera was forced off the air in India after the government demanded the Qatar-based news broadcaster be suspended for five days for broadcasting images of maps between 2013 and 2014 that did not display Pakistan-controlled Kashmir as separate territory.

April 23, 2015 4:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet

China's Great Cannon: New weapon to suppress free speech online

The headquarters of Baidu in Beijing. New censorship tool the Great Cannon is said to have redirected traffic from the popular Chinese site in a massive distributed denial of service attack. (AFP/Liu Jin)

China, rated as the eighth most censored country in the world, in a report released by CPJ today, has long had a strong line of defense against free speech online. Its Golden Shield Project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 1998, relies on a combination of technology and personnel to control what can be expressed and accessed behind the Great Firewall of China.

Blog   |   India

Mission Journal: Challenges for India's press increase as Modi marks first year in office

Indian papers announce the election victory of Narendra Modi in May 2014. Journalists say reporting on government issues has become challenging in the past year. (AFP/Prakash Singh)

"Modi has tightened the screws on information." This statement from Bangalore-based journalist Subir Ghosh underscores a common challenge repeated to me by several of India's journalists, who say the space for criticism is shrinking under Narendra Modi's rule. Since a landslide victory made him leader of the world's largest democracy nearly one year ago, the prime minister has worked to distance his government from independent reporters, they said.

Blog   |   China

Jailed journalist Gao Yu saw what was coming. So should the IOC

Gao at a press freedom conference in Paris, in April 2008,(AP/Jacques Brinon)

Gao Yu was right, I was wrong. Gao, who was handed a seven-year prison sentence in a Beijing court on Friday, and I met at a conference organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in Paris in April 2008, a few months before the Beijing Olympic Games were to get underway. CPJ had worked hard to publicize the mistake made by the International Olympics Committee in awarding China the Games in the first place.

Blog   |   China

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu awaits her fate

Chinese journalist Gao Yu, pictured at a Hong Kong press conference in 2007, is expected to be sentenced in China on April 17. (AFP/Mike Clarke)

A verdict is expected Friday in the case of veteran journalist and staunch government critic Gao Yu. The 71-year-old freelance journalist, who writes about politics, the economy, and social trends for Chinese media in Hong Kong and overseas, was tried in November for disclosing state secrets.

April 15, 2015 12:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

One year later: Hamid Mir on the attempt to kill him and what came next

(Geo News)

Hamid Mir and I last saw each other in Islamabad in late January at a meeting of the Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety. Mir, a senior anchor for Geo News, seemed as if he was on the road to recovery, but he was obviously still in pain from injuries he sustained during an assassination attempt on him last year. On April 19, 2014, Mir was shot multiple times as he left Karachi's main airport.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Evolution of Pakistan's proposed cybercrime law

Journalists browse the Internet in Peshawar. Pakistan's draft cybercrime bill includes a section seeking to justify government censorship of Web content. (AFP/A Majeed)

A pointer to our colleagues at Bolo Bhi, Pakistan's independent Internet freedom and electronic privacy watchdog (it's involved in gender issues too). The watchdog has been tracking the evolution of Pakistan's attempts at cybercrime legislation since 2007.

April 1, 2015 2:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet, Security

China's CNNIC issues false certificates in serious breach of crypto trust

Google's landing page for China is viewed on a laptop in Hong Kong. False credentials were issued for Google and other domains by Chinese digital certificate company CNNIC. (AFP/Frederic J. Brown)

In a major breach of public trust and confidence, the Chinese digital certificate authority China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) certified false credentials for numerous domains, including several owned by Google. The deliberate breach had the potential to seriously endanger vulnerable users, such as journalists communicating with sources. The breach was discovered by Google and published on its security blog on March 23. Despite this serious lapse, it appears CNNIC's authority will not be revoked, and that its credentials will continue to be trusted by almost all computers around the world.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Mission Journal: Bangladeshi press reined in as Hasina exerts authority

A 2007 election poster for Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Independent journalists in the country say the press is coming under pressure from her government. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

Matiur Rahman Chowdhury has been the host of "Frontline," a popular Bangla-language news show, for five years. Aired live three times a week, the show gained notoriety for bringing politicians, members of civil society, and journalists together to discuss current affairs. Chowdhury distinguished himself from many of his counterparts with his soft-spoken but firm demeanor as he led his guests in substantive discussion, rather than presiding over talking heads trying to drown one another out. At a time when much of the broadcast media in Bangladesh has become muted, talk shows like Chowdhury's were one of the last spaces for critical news coverage.

Blog   |   India, Internet

India's landmark online speech ruling is step toward greater press freedom

Aseem Trivedi speaks to the media after his arrest in 2012. Charges against the cartoonist have been dropped after India overturned part of its Information Technology Act. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

In an historic decision, India's Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down part of a law used to silence criticism and free expression. While this marks a pivotal victory that has been welcomed in many quarters, many challenges remain for press freedom in the country.

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