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· January, 2017

Stories about Technology from January, 2017

Building a Sustainable, Open-Source Platform for Language Learning

Openwords is a open-source language-learning app with robust lesson and course development features with the aim to be a community of language learners and teachers.

More Than a Hundred Iranians, Many of Them Legal Residents, Face Challenges Entering the US

A crowdsourced database started by an Iranian MIT professor offers a snapshot of the impact of Trump's ban on Iranian nationals.

Popular Chinese Selfie App Meitu Prompts Privacy Fears

"I think it’s just a very shady business practice to try to gather as much data as you can without asking for permission."

Russia Says No to Political Crowdfunding by Individuals

Russia's version of PayPal is shutting down the transfer of money to individuals collecting funds for political purposes—a decision that will undermine one presidential bid to challenge Putin in 2018.

Hardliners Pressuring Iran's President Rouhani to Ban Popular Telegram App, This Time for 2017 Election

“This (the internet) isn’t freedom. It’s the worst kind of bondage. Polluted anti-religious networks are functioning in this country because the organizations in charge are not doing their jobs.”

China Officially Outlaws Unauthorised VPNs

The Chinese government has been blocking some VPN services in China since 2015, but the current policy has officially made unregistered VPN and web-hosting services illegal.

Netizen Report: Bahrain Orders News Outlet to Stop ‘Using Electronic Media Tools’

Israeli lawmakers give nod to ‘Facebook Bill’, Oman suspends free speech cases against Facebookers, and Kenyans fear an election day Internet shutdown.

Diplomacy via Twitter? Indian Minister Threatens Amazon Over Indian Flag Doormat

"This case illustrates the perils of playing to the social media gallery in diplomacy."

New Russian App Works Like Uber, But for Funerals

It has all the convenience and technical pizzazz of the transportation network Uber, but this Russian app helps your arrange funerals, not rides.

The Best of Latin American Info-Activism in 2016 (Part II)

The organization SocialTIC reviews 2016's most inspirational info-activist projects in Latin America.

Ukraine Bans Russia’s One Independent TV Station

The Ukrainian government has voted to remove Russian independent TV station Dozhd from its list of approved foreign broadcasters, giving providers one month to remove the station from their networks.

For Telegram Users, Iran's Registration Requirement Boosts State Snooping Powers

Telegram is Iran’s most popular messaging application and host to some 170,000 Iranian-owned channels. The new policy will require owners of popular channels to register with the government.

A Japanese Researcher Tweets Vintage Photos Colorized Using Neural Networks

Anyone can use this interesting web-based tool to add color to black-and-white images.

LibreRouter: Why Buy a Router When You Can Build Your Own?

'Quite a challenge for hackers of free networks that, in my opinion, are close to making an important step towards freedom and autonomy relating to technology and communication.'

The Best and Worst of Russia's New Year's Laws

Every year, the Russian State Duma schedules laws to come into effect on January 1st. RuNet Echo marks the highlights and lowlights of the 2017 New Year's laws.

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