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The bright and the dark Internet

`We all love being connected to the Internet and it is a wonderful technology for communicating, providing information and entertainment, and keeping people connected. Commerce and business is totally dependent on it what with e-mail, conferencing, communication, document transmission in which it is essential and has saved countless number of trees with the reduction in the use of paper.
 








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Internet control during national congress tightest yet

HONG KONG (SE): Complaints have emerged from Internet followers of current affairs in China, who say that National People’s Congress, which some refer to as the annual parliament, held in Beijing from March 5 to 15, was marked by stricter-than-usual controls.

Radio Free Asia quoted Guangzhou-based writer, Xu Lin, as saying that many of the more outspoken members of the popular chat network QQ had their accounts shut down at the beginning of March, with fresh accounts also deleted as soon as they were set up.

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Chinese Muslim website blocked

HONG KONG (Agencies): One of China’s most popular online communities for Muslims has been shut down after posting a petition asking the president, Xi Jinping, to stop his brutal suppression of human rights advocates.

The students who wrote the petition told Agence France Presse on December 14 that they demanded the immediate release of advocates still held by the state.

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China gives Internet one more squeeze

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Chinese government is set to adopt a new Cybersecurity Law, which Human Rights Watch described on November 7 as a regressive measure designed to tighten censorship, as well as closer surveillance and other controls over the Internet operations.

As was expected, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the controversial law during its October 31 to November 7 meeting.

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Transcribing the bible to combat Internet addiction

HONG KONG (SE): There was a time in China when Christians used to transcribe long tracts of the bible by hand, because of the difficulty in getting their hands on a printed copy.

However, in recent years, some countries have run big projects to have the bible completely transcribed by hand as an exercise in drumming up interest among people. The final result also makes an interesting curio for display.

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Pope makes debut on Instagram

Vatican (SE): Pope Francis moved to boost his presence on social media by logging in to the Instagram photo-sharing service under the handle, @franciscus, on March 19. 

The prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, Monsignor Dario Vigano, made the announcement during a news conference presenting a new book on the pope.

The monsignor dubbed him the Apple pope because “there is a very complex system behind a simple interface.”

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Pakistan lifts YouTube ban

Islamabad (UCAN): In a move welcomed by Church officials, the government of Pakistan lifted its three-year ban on YouTube on January 18 following the launch of a localised version of the popular video-sharing website

A statement the Ministry of Information Technology said, “Google has recently launched a country (localised) version of YouTube and confirmed that YouTube.pk does not contain any known copies of the blasphemous movie Innocence of Muslims.” 

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Social media a help in China’s winter freeze

Hong Kong (UCAN): Catholic communities in China’s northeastern provinces have been using social media to reach out in the freezing and smoggy winter while still offering direct pastoral care to the elderly to fill the digital void.

In provinces such as Jilin, Heilongjiang and Liaoning, the average temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius for four to six months a year. 

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Freedom of religion for a Church in chains

HONG KONG (SE): By its very nature cyberspace transcends borders, which makes drawing territorial demarcation lines designating control over content, access or usage an almost contradictory task.

However, the United States of America (US) holds most of the keys to the doors that can lock, monitor and block, as it possesses the 13 facilities that allocate IP address, which gives it a head start in the manipulation game.

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