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Learn How to Protect Your Email Communication in Less Than 30 Minutes

#EmailSelfDefense infographic by Journalism++ for the Free Software Foundation (CC BY 4.0)

#EmailSelfDefense infographic by Journalism++ for the Free Software Foundation (CC BY 4.0)

Email Self-Defense, a beginner's guide to email encryption by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), was released in six new languages [frdejprupttr] on June 30, 2014. More languages are underway.

Even if you have nothing to hide, using encryption helps protect the privacy of people you communicate with, and makes life difficult for bulk surveillance systems. If you do have something important to hide, you're in good company; these are the same tools that Edward Snowden used to share his famous secrets about the NSA.

"Edward, a friendly email bot helps Email Self-Defense users test their new encryption systems."

Edward, a friendly email bot, helps Email Self-Defense users test their new encryption systems.

FSF's guide was originally launched as part of the Reset The Net campaign on June 5, 2014 — a global day of action against bulk surveillance that marked the first anniversary of Edward Snowden's revelations about the US National Security Agency's (NSA) massive and indiscriminate global spying machine.

Email Self-Defense is only one important piece of the solution to bulk surveillance,” FSF states:

While we learn email encryption tools, we also need to push politically to reign in surveillance, build a safer Internet, and force governments and companies to reduce the amount of data they collect about us in the first place. We hope translated versions of Email Self-Defense can be the entry into this multifaceted movement for people all around the world.

Srinagar-Leh Highway: An Adventurous Road Trip

The 434-kilometer-long Srinagar-Leh Highway is a spectacular and often scary highway in the Kashmir Valley. This road, which is open for traffic from June to November, is generally muddy, gravely and non-existent at best. The Zoji La mountain pass at 3,528 meters is particularly dangerous with only enough clearance for one-way traffic risking 1,000 meter drops. Minor Sights, a travel blog, posts details about the Srinagar-Leh road trip including the above video report.

Trinidad & Tobago: Secrets of the CL Financial Bailout?

The public is being told that the CL Financial bailout is being resolved, while at the same time the Minister of Finance & the Economy is withholding the fundamental information which any prudent person would need to make a decision.

Afra Raymond wonders what is being hidden.

Cloudflare CEO Updates DDoS Attacks on Civic Referendum in Hong Kong

The civic referendum on the election mechanism of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong has begun around noon time today on 20 of June. The voting system has been under massive DDoS attacks since June 14 and now it relies on Cloudflare to defend the platform. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince updated the situation in Twitter, the attack scale is up to 300Gb per second.

A Handbook for Protesters During the World Cup in Brazil

As the 2014 World Cup begins in Brazil, protests against FIFA's interventions and the Brazilian government's spending are taking place all over the country, especially in the host cities.

Concerned about excessive police reaction during protests, citizen's counselling organization Urucum, which works on human rights, communication and justice issues and is based in the city of Fortaleza, published a “Handbook for Protesters“ in Portuguese (“Manual de Pessoas Manifestantes”).

The e-book gives advice about items protesters should carry inside their backpacks and offers a list of recommendations on attitude and behavior during the demonstration itself. It also shares a list of civil rights and addresses how to proceed in case a protester is stopped for a police search or detained.

The booklet is a product of the online platform Na Rua [pt] (On the street), which monitors human rights violations perpetrated by the government in Fortaleza during protests related to the World Cup.

Comedy and Activism from Mexico

JM Casanueva, author of the blog SocialTIC, reviews the new trend in activism in Mexico that uses humor on blogs and social networks to reach a larger audience:

El humor siempre ha sido una táctica exitosa para transmitir causas de manera empática (sí, que alguien que no seas tú o tus colegas activistas entiendan la problemática) y llegar a públicos más amplios (sí, más allá de lxs [sic] grupos de sospechosos comunes que siempre te retuitean). El activismo mexicano de 2014 ha tenido una muy buena dosis de humor por parte de comediantes que han aprovechado sus talentos, agudeza y compromiso social para buscar impactar en la sociedad.

Humor has always been a successful tactic to transmit causes in an empathetic way (yes, someone who is not you or your fellow activists understands the problem) and reach larger audiences (yes, beyond the lxs [sic] groups of usual suspects that always retweet you). Mexican activism in 2014 has had a good dose of humor by comedians that have used their talents, keenness and social engagement to impact society.

You can follow SocialTIC on Twitter.

This post was part of the seventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 16, 2014.

Western Ukraine Police Using Facebook to Increase Police Accountability

According to a report [uk] by RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe), heads of district police departments in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv have been ordered to set up Facebook profiles. As of June 25, 2014, all of them can be found and contacted through the social network, which the Head of the Lviv Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior believes will ensure prompt reaction [uk] of law enforcement officials towards reports from citizens.

Public trust towards law enforcement institutions in Ukraine has reached an all time low during the recent public uprisings, known as #Euromaidan. After a consequent change of government, the new Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov has led a practice of publicly reporting on his activities through a personal Facebook profile [ru], which has been received positively by a large audience.

Debunking Rumors that Algerian Fans Burned Down a Church in Lyon, France after World Cup Win

On June 22 at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Algeria defeated South Korea 4-2 to keep its chance of qualifying to the knock-out round alive. Scenes of joy were numerous in Algeria [fr] but also in France where a dynamic Algerian community resides.

The joy was tempered by rumors that a church in Lyon, France was burned down during the celebration. The rumors turned out to be a complete lie spread by extreme right groups based on erroneous photos. Adrien Sénécat explains the details of his fact-checking on the story [fr] :    

Peu après le coup de sifflet final dimanche, des tweets ont indiqué qu'une église aurait brûlé dans le quartier de la Duchère, à Lyon. Message notamment relayé par le Bloc Identitaire et des sites proches de l'extrême-droite. Sauf que l'église en question n'a pas brûlé, comme l'ont signalé plusieurs internautes sur les réseaux sociaux. Une église a en revanche bien été incendiée à la Duchère… mais en 2006 (et sans aucun rapport avec un match de l'Algérie).  

Shortly after the final whistle on Sunday, some tweets suggested that a church had burned down in the area of ​​Duchère in Lyon, France. These tweets were relayed by Bloc Identitaire and other similar extreme-right group websites. The thing is, the church was still intact, as reported by several twitter users.A Church in Duchère was lit on fire … but in 2006 (and it had no relation whatsoever with an Algerian football).

Why Quality of Internet Service Is Needed in Nepal

Internet penetration in Nepal has increased to 29.78 percent in recent times mainly due to about 8 million mobile Internet users. But the quality of Internet service by the providers, lack of standards and bad customer service makes the user experience so unpleasant that many users feel that their time, money and resources are wasted, according to blogger Shreedeep Rayamajhi from Kathmandu, Nepal.

The situation is so bad that a petition on Change.org has been launched addressing the Nepal Telecommunication authority.

From Our World Cup Archive: How Brazil Fooled the World With a Meme

The most widespread image of the joke. Unknown author

The most widespread image of the joke. Unknown author

Remember “Cala Boca Galvão”, the Internet meme that became a worldwide joke when millions of Twitter users started telling a famous Brazilian sports narrator and broadcaster, Galvão Bueno, to shut up, during the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony?

Almost instantly it was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and people from all over the world were trying to understand what was going on.

People armed with Brazilian humour stepped up to elaborate with a fake urgent call to help save a supposedly endangered species of bird (the “galvão”), and asked people to retweet “Cala Boca Galvão” as loud as possible. This video created in June 2010 about the fictional bird that needs to be saved from the World Cup has more than 2.2 million views.  

Mainstream media outlets helped spread the hoax that was later described by The New York Times as “one of history’s most successful cyberpranks”, and clarified this in its blog The Lede.

Read the story by Raphael Tsavkko Garcia from our archive: Brazil: The ‘Cala Boca Galvão’ Phenomenon.

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