Media Law Round Up 11/20

//CGCS Presents this week’s Media Law Round Up – a collection of stories that developed over the week dealing with International Media Law & Policy, Freedoms of Speech, Information and Expression, Censorship, Privacy and all things Web 2.0.

// To read the articles in full, simply click on the title to go to the original host’s page.

Facebook Comment Censorship Leads to Arrests, FoS Debacle in India

Monday of this week, the Indian court arrested two girls for comments posted on the social network Facebook. A comment by Shaheen Dhada (and the subsequent like by friend Renu Srinivas) got the pair two a two week sentence, for questioning the public’s reaction to the death of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray. “The two women were arrested Sunday under a section of the Indian Penal Code that outlaws spreading “statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill- will between classes” after one complained about the citywide strike sparked by the death of the Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and the second woman “liked” her statement.” explains the New York Times.

11/19 Facebook Comment Tests Freedom of Speech in India (via Wall Street Journal)

“After his death was announced, shops, restaurants and other businesses in Mumbai closed either as a show of respect or in fear of mob violence by Shiv Sena supporters. Despite some reports of unrest, Mumbai remained mostly peaceful throughout the weekend.

According to the Mumbai Mirror, Shahien Dhada, 21, posted the following on Facebook: “People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that.” Bandh is Hindi for strike.”

11/19 Freedom of speech ruined in India: Two girls arrested for anti-Thackaray Facebook post get bail (via The News Tribe)

“The arrests…  sparked an outrage with Press Council of India chief Markandey Katju on Monday demanding “immediate” action against police personnel involved. Congress said a police case against the girls was “unfortunate” and hoped Maharashtra government would take remedial measures.”

11/20 Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook Post (via Huffington Post)

“A day [after the arrests], a relieved Mumbai police chief, Satyapal Singh, praised the “unexpectedly orderly behavior” of Thackeray’s supporters.

But the thuggish behavior was in evidence Monday when a mob of Thackeray’s supporters stormed an orthopedic clinic [owned by Dhada’s Uncle] , destroying its operating rooms and much of its equipment. Nurses and patients fled but no one was hurt.”

“On Tuesday, police said they had detained nine men for their involvement in the attack of the clinic. It was not immediately clear if the men belonged to the Shiv Sena.

The Mumbai arrests came barely two months after the Maharashtra police arrested a political cartoonist on sedition charges for drawings that mocked corruption in the Indian government. The charges were dropped and the cartoonist is out on bail. Earlier this year, a university professor was arrested in the state of West Bengal for forwarding an email cartoon that caricatured the chief minister there.”

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08/25 India’s Internet Curbs Under Legal Cloud (via Wall Street Journal)

11/20 Unrest and arrests in India after Facebook comment sparks outrage (via

11/ 20 Why India demonizes Freedom of Speech (via Sikh Wire)

11/20 How to Steer Clear of India’s Strict Internet Laws (via NYTimes)


Social Media, Info Privacy Take Front Seat in Israel / Hamas Conflict over Gaza

The latest string of military actions exchanged between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East have transcended the physical battle field . While the Israeli Defense Force and Al-Quds Brigade (the military wing of the Islamic Jihad) trade blows in real space and time, the two are simultaneously fighting it out online in a battle for public opinion. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, official Blogs and even Pinterest have been dragged into the skirmish creating an up to the minute, on-the-scene style of citizen journalism residing somewhere between the events of the Arab Spring and the Vietnam War.

“In the past, information flow during a military campaign was mostly controlled by the armies involved, but now that everyone has the ability to publish and distribute data including photos and videos, it changes the nature of attacks like the latest Israeli campaign against Hamas,” writes

11/16 IDF vs. Hamas War Extends to Social Media (via PC

“What helped make IDF’s social presence a true war of words, however, was Hamas’s participation. Within minutes [of @IDFSpokesperson tweeting], the @AlqassamBrigade account had begun tweeting its own accounts of the fighting, presenting images of what the account said was casualties of the attacks, and reporting its own initiatives against the Israeli forces and Israel herself.”

11/19 The fight for public opinion and warfare on the Web ( via Haaretz)

“In addition, the al-Quds Brigades website… claimed that messages were sent to the cellphones of 1,000 officers in the IDF, stating, “We will turn Gaza into a cemetery for your soldiers and make Tel Aviv into a flame.” The site published the names of 5,000 IDF officers who had apparently been called up for reserve duty following the operation. ”

11/19 Cyberwar and Social Media in the Gaza Conflict(via International Herald Tribune)

“Anonymous, the hacking collective, says it has struck at official Israel Web sites, and the Israeli authorities themselves say that a staggering 44 million hacking attempts have been made since the latest conflagration began last Wednesday. Only one succeeded for 10 minutes or so on an unspecified site, according to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.

“The war is taking place on three fronts,” Carmela Avner, Israel’s chief information officer, told Reuters. “The first is physical, the second is on the world of social networks and the third is cyber.”

11/19 How Social Media is Rewriting the Rules of Modern Warfare (via GigaOm)

“One concrete example of this emerged within days of the Israel Defense Forces launching what they called Operation Pillar of Defense (which came complete with its own Twitter hashtag). According to several reports, the Israeli army asked citizens not to post the details of attacks or troop movements on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram because they might inadvertently reveal the location of specific targets…”

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11/19 Gaza Media Coverage Reports Strikes In Real Time, Without Restrictions (via Huffington Post)

11/20 The “Kids” Behind IDF’s Media (via Tablet Mag)



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