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· February, 2019

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from February, 2019

27 February 2019

USCYBERCOM attack gives Russian legislators new justification for tighter internet controls

RuNet EchoAdvox

Both pro-Kremlin experts and their opponents see the USCYBERCOM's attack on the "troll factory" as ammunition for isolationist policies.

26 February 2019

Russian cathedral choir's performance of a song about US nuclear annihilation shows that parody doesn't quite work in 2019

RuNet Echo

As Russian state TV regularly airs segments simulating total or partial nuclear destruction of the United States, this was bound to raise a few eyebrows.

25 February 2019

Albania's democracy hangs by a thread as opposition quits parliament, launches mass protests

The EU and other Western powers criticized the lawmakers' decision. NATO-member Albania aims to begin full EU-membership negotiations in 2019.

Global Voices becomes primary source for global translation competition in Czech Republic

"Global Voices. . . provides articles on interesting and fresh topics that come in several language versions, translated by native speakers, and using contemporary language and an accessible style."

22 February 2019

Facebook, robot vacuum cleaner and pro-surveillance politician voted worst privacy intruders in Czech Republic

The Big Brother “anti-awards” ceremony is designed to shame those who violate people's rights to privacy and data protection.

As Putin preaches ‘sovereignty’ and tech modernization, experts lament loss of online freedoms

RuNet EchoAdvox

As Vladimir Putin promises Russians a faster, more reliable internet, two reports by independent expert groups paint an unrelentingly bleak picture of more crackdowns on online freedom of speech.

21 February 2019

Hungary's Viktor Orbán is pouring cash into military sports and historical reenactments to boost patriotism

This approach matches the broader education strategy of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose government has rewritten the national curriculum multiple times to include military training and military history.

19 February 2019

Three babies die from measles in Macedonia outbreak. Is anti-vax propaganda responsible?

Macedonia has one of the lowest rates for measles vaccination in Europe, according to the World Health Organization.

17 February 2019

Russian public sector workers ordered to ‘like’ social media posts promoting the 2019 Winter Universiade

RuNet Echo

This is not the first instance of Russian public officials acting as "human bots" to promote the government's agenda online.

11 February 2019

Bulgaria's parliament and an educational institute named top privacy violators in ‘Big Brother Awards’

Advox

The Bulgarian edition of the Big Brother Awards is back as a means of shaming the worst violators of citizens’ privacy.

6 February 2019

The ‘coal curtain’ is the new Iron Curtain

While Western Europe reduces its coal usage, the former Soviet bloc nations are moving in the opposite direction.

3 February 2019

Russian ‘anti-fake news’ bill rushed through parliament despite vocal opposition

RuNet EchoAdvox

Both the "anti-fake news" bill and its twin initiative against offending the authorities use Germany and other Western countries' laws as inspiration.

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