Welcome to this week’s Media Law Roundup, a summary of developing media news.
On Wednesday, Twitter released its semi- annual transparency report, detailing government requests for user data. Twitter reported that it received 1,157 data requests, and turned over at least some data for 55% of requests. US government agencies issued the most requests, followed by Japan. According to the report, the total number of requests was up by about 15 percent compared to the last six months of 2012.
Brazil focuses on Internet draft regulation
Brazil continues discussions of suggested human rights regulations for the Internet, contained in a document called “Marco Civil da Internet.” The goal of the legislation is to protect individuals by defining the right to privacy, web neutrality, and freedom of speech. The bill stalled in Congress for two years, but recent revelations regarding the NSA surveillance program have helped revive the debate. The debate over the document is part of a larger discussion surrounding the definition of Internet freedom and appropriate regulation in Brazil. For example, officials have also suggested reducing reliance on foreign technology and address the vulnerability in Brazil’s fiber optic cables and satellites.
Since the beginning of the conflict, pro- rebellion journalists have utilized social media platforms to spread their cause, and while pro-Assad users were also active, it is only recently that official authorities have begun to embrace the use of social media. Just over a week ago, Bashar Assad opened an Instagram, under the name “syrianpresidency” and has in that time posted more than 90 photos and accumulated 30,000 followers.
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