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Technology 3 May 2021

The Week in Internet News: India Tries to Censor Online Critics

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Shut your mouth: The government in India has tried to silence critics of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic there as cases spike in the country, BuzzFeed News reports. India’s IT ministry recently ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets from being seen in the country, and Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube also had content critical of the government taken down. For example, police in the state of Uttar Pradesh filed a complaint against a man who asked for medical oxygen for his dying grandfather on Twitter, claiming that he was “spreading misleading information.” The India Supreme Court took action, however, saying that residents should be free to post complaints on social media, India Today writes.

Search tools: Also in India, Facebook has announced a vaccine finder tool on its mobile app in the country, The Economic Times reports. The social media giant is partnering with the government there to roll out its Vaccine Finder tool in 17 languages.

Game of monopoly: The European Union has charged Apple with anti-competitive practices for the way it manages its app store, the BBC reports. The case relates to charges brought two years ago by music streaming app Spotify, which accused Apple of stifling innovation in the music streaming market.

Bring on the broadband: U.S. President Joe Biden has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to work on ways to close the digital divide, CNet says. Biden wants make broadband more affordable for millions of low-income residents. He called for $100 billion in government spending to bring more broadband to rural areas.

Beavers vs. broadband: Beavers recently chewed through an underground fiber cable and killed broadband service to about 900 residents of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, for about 36 hours, Ars Technica reports. The beavers apparently used some of the cable and surrounding conduit to build their dam. Internet service provider Telus spokeswoman Liz Sauvé described the situation as a “very unusual and uniquely Canadian turn of events,” the BBC says.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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