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· December, 2015

Stories about Technology from December, 2015

Millions of Indians Slam Facebook's ‘Free Basics’ App

With two weeks of public advertisements, Facebook would have got the maximum opposition in India so far in rolling a free access to its products called Free Basics.

How the Soviet Union Sent Its First Man to the Internet in 1982

This is the story of a Soviet scientist who, in 1982, accidentally found himself among the first citizens of the USSR who were able to connect to the Internet.

Russian Censors Launch Automatic Online Media Monitoring System to Spot ‘Extremist’ Content

Roscomnadzor initially had ambitious plans to monitor all of the Russian Internet for extremist materials, but didn't have enough funding, so decided to focus on online media outlets.

On Taiwan, Facebook and the Politics of Trolling on the Chinese Internet

When Facebook became accessible in mainland China, trolls descended on a Taiwanese politician. What might happen if Facebook were to become permanently accessible in China?

Bangladesh Will Demand Biometric Data From All SIM Card Users

The scheme will create a massive database of citizens' communications data that could give the government unprecedented access to the mobile communications of Bangladeshi citizens.

Massive LiveJournal Troll Network Pushes Pro-Kremlin Narratives

An in-depth analysis of Twitter bots' metadata reveals connections to Russian "troll factories" and a vast network of pro-Kremlin LiveJournal blogs populating RuNet with propagandistic content.

WhatsApp Is Back on in Brazil. But Why Was It Blocked in the First Place?

The judge who issued the order based her decision on a provision of Marco Civil, Brazil's so-called "Bill of Rights" for the Internet.

Mapping for Niger, as Told by One of the Project's Volunteers

The project faces limited logistical, financial, and human resources as well as a general ignorance of Open Data, making each activity realized a feat of volunteer passion and activism.

Netizen Report: Tales of Torture from Ethiopia’s Jails

Netizens give chilling account of inhumane treatment in Ethiopia's prison system. Meanwhlie, sedition laws levy strict penalties for netizens in Thailand, Malaysia.

China's 2nd World Internet Conference Will Focus on ‘Rule of Law’, But Not Free Expression

"These conferences have had no credibility ever since the first one, whose real aim was to ensure that Internet companies wanting to operate in China fall into line."

Ethiopian Netizens Defend Themselves in Court After 525 Days of Detention

Left to defend themselves in court, Ethiopian netizens reject charges of anti-government activity and describe torture and ethnic discrimination in prison.

Low Bandwidth, High Hopes: Digital Participation in Venezuelan Elections

Despite low bandwidth and a series of localized Internet outages, the Web proved critical to public discourse and circulation of information about candidates, especially those running with the opposition.

Herein Lie the Secrets of Geolocation

This guide will provide instruction on using satellite images, with a focus on historical imagery, and available street-level imagery accessible for Russian and Ukrainian cities.

UN Atomic Agency Report Brings Iran Nuclear Deal Closer to Reality

The report stated that Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon ceased by 2009. Some saw it as affirmation that sanctions, largely put into place after 2010, were needless.

‘Cloud’ Jokes Aplenty After China Blamed for Australian Meteorology Bureau Hack

Accusations that China has hacked Australia's Bureau of Meteorology have brought swift online responses down under.

Furious Customers in Mali Call for a Boycott of Telecom Giant Orange

"Orange has been ripping us off for years...Enough is enough. It must stop."

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