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Mobile Technology News, January 23, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Dell's Surface Pro 2 rival appears at Microsoft Store
    The Microsoft Store is selling a high-end Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet that competes with the Surface Pro 2.
  • iTunes Update Brings Wish Lists into View

    Apple has released a minor update to iTunes for both Mac and PC that brings visibility to your Wish List into the app along with other minor improvements.  The new version is 11.1.4 and it is available now via the iTunes website or through the App Store on your Mac.
    Until now, viewing your Wish […]

    The post iTunes Update Brings Wish Lists into View appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Rockstar Consortium agrees to drop patent suit against Huawei
    Apparent settlement closes the book on one of a handful of suits filed against Android device makers by the alliance, which is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony.
  • Independent Review Board Says NSA Phone Data Program Is Illegal And Should End
    An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency’s long-running program to collect billions of Americans’ phone records is illegal and should be ended.
  • Davos 2014: Live Updates From The World Economic Forum
    Wednesday marks the second day of the 2014 World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Annual Meeting.

    The event, taking place in Switzerland, features such notable speakers as University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent and Peter Bakker of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

    Below, live updates from the 2014 Davos Annual Meeting:

  • No, Netflix Isn't Actually Killing HBO And Showtime, Networks Say
    A market research firm is backing down from its widely circulated report claiming that HBO and other premium TV providers lost subscribers over the last two years while Netflix gained.

    NPD Group removed the press release from its website and issued a “data clarification” statement on Wednesday that said it “should not have called out declines in subscribers for specific premium TV channels, HBO and Showtime.”

    “The data used for the press release pertains to aggregate results for all premium TV channels and does indicate that the overall number of subscribers has declined, based on a representative sample of the U.S. population,” NPD said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “However, upon further examination of the results, there is data supporting the conclusion that individual subscribers are either subscribing to more channels, or adding channels over time.”

    Basically, NPD group says that fewer households are subscribing overall, but those households that are subscribing are subscribing to more premium channels.

    “The universe of overall premium channel subscribers is shrinking, but the subscribers that are sticking with premium TV are taking on more channels,” Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD Group, told The Huffington Post. “You do have a lot of consumers who are staying in premium TV and bulking up on the number of channels they’re subscribing to.”

    An NPD Group spokesman said that the company would issue a corrected press release this week.

    HBO and other premium TV providers aggressively disputed the original NPD report after it came out on Monday.

    “The research is simply incorrect,” HBO said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

    Rich Greenfield, a prominent media analyst (who, coincidentally, co-hosted Netflix’s earnings call with investors on Wednesday), jumped in on Tuesday evening to discredit the report. In a blog post, Greenfield called the claim “100 percent false.”

    “We believe premium growth has been quite healthy, with absolute premium subscribers now at an all-time high driven by improving quality of content,” Greenfield wrote.

    NPD Group’s original report was picked up by many news outlets, including The Huffington Post.

    NPD surveyed four waves of more than 7,000 consumers — in March and August 2012, and during the same two months in 2013 — and reported that over the last two years, the overall percentage of households that subscribe to premium TV channels declined by 6 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of households that subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video, increased by 4 percentage points.

    NPD also said the number of subscriptions has decreased, writing that “subscriptions to HBO, Showtime and other premium TV channels have declined over the past two years, as Netflix and other subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services have gained in popularity.”

    Yet HBO said that both HBO and Cinemax “have shown significant domestic subscriber growth in the past two years.”

    HBO and Cinemax added a total of 1.9 million combined domestic subscribers in 2012, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner, HBO’s parent company, said in an earnings call last year. This number includes so-called churn — people who’ve cancelled their subscriptions.

    Showtime, for its part, said in a statement to HuffPost that NPD’s study “does not accurately reflect actual subscriber counts.” The company cited figures from SNL Kagan, the media research firm, that said Showtime grew by 1.5 million subscribers from March 2012 to September 2013.

    Starz grew from 20.1 million subscribers in March 2012 to 22 million in September 2013, while its sister channel Encore grew from 33.6 million to 35 million over the same period.

    Data from SNL Kagan backs up the networks’ claims. HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz and EPIX all have increased their total subscriber counts in the last two years, according to SNL Kagan. And the percentage of households in the U.S. with premium TV subscriptions actually increased from the first quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of last year, according to SNL Kagan.

    Netflix is also thriving. Subscriptions have surged over the last couple of years, jumping to more than 31.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 22.02 million in the first quarter of 2012.

    Analysts said the reason people keep shelling out big bucks for premium TV is simple: There’s really good stuff to watch.

    “Content is king. Period. End of report,” said Jim Nail, principal analyst at Forrester, the information and technology research firm. “Most of Netflix is still old movies [and] past seasons of TV shows, and while that has a certain degree of quality, it’s certainly not a full substitute for the latest episode of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ or ‘Game of Thrones.'”

    Full statement from NPD Group:

    A recent press announcement from The NPD Group that was released on Monday, January 20, 2014 (“Cord Shaving? SVOD Subscribers Increase, as Premium TV Subscribers Decline, According to The NPD Group”) should not have called out declines in subscribers for specific premium TV channels, HBO and Showtime. The data used for the press release pertains to aggregate results for all premium TV channels and does indicate that the overall number of subscribers has declined, based on a representative sample of the U.S. population. However, upon further examination of the results, there is data supporting the conclusion that individual subscribers are either subscribing to more channels, or adding channels over time. In that case, faithful premium channel subscribers are becoming more so – which would be consistent with the subscription increases being reported by individual channels.

  • Report: iOS users consume more data than others
    A study that compared how much more cellular data is being consumed by smartphone buyers than back when the first of the “modern” 3G smartphones — the iPhone 3G — came out in 2008 has found that use has gone up an average of around 600 percent in developed markets, and around 10-fold in developing markets. The report, by network tech firm JDSU, concluded that Apple’s iOS devices lead the charge on downloading, taking six of the top 10 “hungriest” positions.


  • The Coming of the Second Machine Age

    Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, from MIT’s Center for Digital Business, have a new book out this week called, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

    McAfee and Brynjolfsson came to our attention in October 2011 with their thoughtful piece on data driven decision-making that ran in the Harvard Business Review. At the time, the two of them struck many of us as ahead of the curve on the phenomenon of big data and its impact on business. Since then, my colleagues and I have only become more impressed by what they’ve written.

    That’s why we invited McAfee to join EMC’s leadership team in Boston a couple of weeks ago to talk with us about how every business model in every industry is going to be redefined in some form by software. If the first machine age was about the automation of manual labor and horsepower, the second machine age is about the automation of knowledge work, thanks to the proliferation of real time, predictive data analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things — an estimated 200 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, all of them generating unimaginable quantities of data.

    McAfee and Brynjolfsson’s favorite example of automated work is Google’s self-driving car, a marvel of ingenuity enabled by technology’s ability to capture the data of so many moving variables and act on them instantly, free of human error. If a self-driving car seems far-fetched, how about software that grades students’ essays more objectively, consistently and quickly than humans? Or news articles on Forbes.com about corporate earnings previews — “all generated by algorithms without human involvement.”

    We used to speak about how organizations had access to databases. Now, leading organizations are building “data lakes” — giant reservoirs of information in heterogeneous formats, to aid decision-making and to offer new services to customers. Mobile apps collect intelligence from vast networks of drivers on highways to direct us to the least congested routes between points A and B. “Massive online open courses” offer thousands of college level students access to the best lecturers halfway around the world — at a fraction of the cost.

    But progress always has a flip side — and its critics. Sweeping technology-driven transformations are as much about disruption and dislocation as opportunity. To explore this trade-off, we at EMC are hosting a breakfast conversation in Davos on Thursday with McAfee, Brynjolfsson and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who has written about these topics in previous books and columns. No conversation about the future can ignore the human costs of progress or the discomforting question of whether everyone is adequately prepared.

    On this question, McAfee and Brynjolfsson are generally optimistic about the future of technology and the opportunities for humanity. The good news is, living standards increase with gains in productivity. But why are so many innovative large companies awash in cash while unemployment rates have hardly budged?

    Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christensen, who has devoted a career to studying disruptive innovation, spoke with us about this recently. The challenge, he notes, is that so much of the innovation we see in the world today is efficiency-based in nature: it’s about doing familiar things in cheaper, more efficient ways.

    In The Second Machine Age, the great software-defined businesses of tomorrow will be the ones that usher in breakthrough innovations that do new things entirely — the kind of innovation that generates new value by opening up unforeseen market opportunities: new products, new services, new ways of servicing customers, and new jobs. That’s what the first machine age was all about. Ready or not, the second machine age is already underway. And the value and disruption it will generate will stagger us all.

  • Icahn urges eBay to spin off PayPal
    Activist investor Carl Icahn calls on e-commerce giant eBay to spin off its payments business, PayPal.
  • Apple working on update to resolve iOS 7 mystery crash
    Apple has acknowledged a problem with iOS 7 that can cause devices to randomly crash and reboot, an issue most commonly seen when power levels on the device dip below 30 percent. While the company had not previously acknowledged the issue, it confirmed on Wednesday that it is working on a fix that will appear in an upcoming software update. The problem is not currently believed to affect all users.


  • How Steve Jobs Saved The Day For This Bestselling Author
    Dr. David Agus, M.D., author and co-founder of Navigenics, may have never made it to the New York Times’ bestseller list if it weren’t for Steve Jobs.

    In a recent appearance on HuffPost Live in Davos, Switzerland, where the 2014 World Economic Forum annual meeting is taking place, Agus said Jobs told him it was a bad idea to use the word “health” in the title of his book, because it turns people off and makes their eyes glaze over.

    Agus went on to write the No. 1 bestseller The End Of Illness.

    Watch a clip of Doraiswamy’s interview above, and read more from Davos below:

  • Seven secrets of the world wide web
    Hidden delights on the web’s most popular sites
  • Design of iPhone 6 'locked down,' claims analyst
    Cowen and Company says the design of the iPhone 6 is decided. The investment firm also has something to say about the rumored 13-inch iPad.
  • Sorry Scoble, Wearables Are Not Doomed

    Given my recent Google Glass experience, and Google’s announcement of the smart contact lenses, I interviewed Tim Moore the founder and CEO of Venture Glass, which creates wearable products and solutions, and was recently identified as “an emerging thought leader in wearable technology.” He has over 20 years of experience in digital leadership, from The New York Times Company, to the founder of multiple successful start-up companies.


    “Don’t be blinded by technology analysts, look at the growth and it’s clear, wearables are now.

    Image courtesy of Google from – Thursday January 16, 2014: Google announces smart contact lens project.

    I’ve known Tim Moore for some time now and this much is clear, he gets it. His work via Venture Glass, Google Glass, and wearable consulting is well known. He is always honest about the details of wearable’s being “under construction,” but he sees their uses in ways that are visionary to say the least. It just takes a matter of seconds with Tim to know he is from the future (which was pleasant for me, as I love talking about the flux capacitor).

    So, I spoke to him about just that, the future of wearables and Google’s announcement on smart contact lenses. Enjoy!

    1. Tim, let’s get right to it. Some have said wearables are doomed or a waste of time. Your thoughts?

    They are not doomed, they are under construction for sure, but I’m seeing the looks on people’s faces when they try on wearables that actually work and it’s amazing to see their unprodded reaction. And, it’s not about the device, it’s about what it does, the functions, the possibilities. While the tech press share a lot of attention grabbing headlines, they often are promoting their opinion not the technical facts and a view of the future. I prefer to see the future, and it’s clear in our young people. Children like 5-year-old Kali who reacts like nothing I’ve ever seen before when it comes to her first time wearing Google Glass help me. These real life reactions from real people signal to me that, sooner rather than later, wearables will not just replace mobile phones but will become welcomed assistants used throughout our daily lives.

    2. So, what do we say to those calling this a waste of time?

    Well, facts are facts, and the numbers don’t lie. Wearables are currently a $3-$5 Billion dollar industry. In as little as 18-24 months, or in late 2015/early 2016, the wearable industry is estimated to be at nearly $50 billion dollars a year. That’s almost double what the entire film industry generated in 2012, just as a reference point. And wearable’s are just the beginning, looking ahead, (while we may be a number of years off from this video), we will get their much sooner than many think.

    3. How about what Google announced, this smart contact lens. How will that change “glassification” or “wearification”? Health eh?

    It will. Google knows what they are doing and this isn’t just about wearables and convenience. This is a business decision. As the waistline of young Americans grow larger and larger, so does the pool of diabetes candidates. This is a great business decision by Google, to see the future, and create a solution to simplify the lives of others and make a great deal of money along the way. Remember, contact lenses are not new, neither are smart contacts for that matter. Scientists have been working on these concepts for years. It’s the software that monitors blood sugar levels via tear glucose and measure it great accuracy that is what makes this worth investing in.

    4. How about immediate wearables, like Google Glass for instance. Where will this hit, and where will it miss?

    Again, based on numbers and interest levels, it’s obviously a hit with technology people and consumers alike. At CES this year, smart vision, along with wearables, stole the show and dominated the press coming out of the show. While it’s still under construction, I see the finished product for consumer and enterprise, and it’s beautiful. Health is very interesting, and I know this is where you are focus, health will be interesting!

    5. So, Robert Scoble is wrong (and I am being deliberately provocative)?

    I love Robert and have tons of respect for all he does, but yes, when he made the ‘doomed’ statement (which is all people remember) he was wrong. If he was right and truly believed what he said, he’d turn in his Google Glass and wait until the year 2019 and jump in at the last minute to cash in, based on the year of 2020 being his projected tipping point for Glass’ success. I’ll hand mine in before he will, and that’s not going to happen either.

    Thank you Tim.

    This interview was a pleasure, Richie.

  • VIDEO: How London is embracing the Bitcoin
    Emilia Papadopoulos reports on the trading of the virtual currency, Bitcoin, in London.
  • Parents Ask Google If Their Sons Are Geniuses And If Their Daughters Are Fat
    By Amanda Marcotte for Slate

    One of the unintended consequences of the digital era is that it leaves a historically unprecedented pile of evidence of our innermost thoughts and concerns. Google’s simple search bar has turned into a dumping ground for the questions that we may be afraid to ask out loud, which is why it’s a perfect place to look and see if modern parents, who are often careful to claim publicly that they treat male and female children equally, are privately exerting different expectations and pressures based on gender.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz writes for the New York Times on his research looking at the different concerns that parents bring to Google when it comes to sons and daughters. He finds, unsurprisingly, that despite a decade-plus of “girl power” cheerleading, parents still believe that what matters about sons is their intelligence and what matters about girls is their looks.

    While girls are 11 percent more likely, in the real world, to be in gifted programs, parents are way more likely to look at their sons and feel the soaring hope that they detect signs of burgeoning genius. Stephens-Davidowitz found that for every 10 Google queries asking, “Is my daughter gifted?” there were 25 asking, “Is my son gifted?” Parents were way more likely to ask about sons being geniuses or intelligent than they were about daughters. But the attention paid to boys’ brains over girls’ showed up on the other side of the spectrum, too, with worried parents 52 percent more likely to ask if sons were “stupid” than daughters and 46 percent more likely to ask if sons were “behind” than daughters.

    It’s not that daughters are ignored in the world of Google inquiries, however. Shift the focus to the area directly under the actual brain and suddenly interest in daughters surges. Boys are slightly more likely to be overweight than girls, but girls’ weight concerned parents a lot more. For every 10 inquiries about sons being overweight, there were 17 about daughters. Indeed, there’s a lot of fear that the daughters of America are not cutting it in the looks department. There were three times as many inquiries about whether a daughter is “ugly” than for a son. And yes, it’s hard to understand why parents would think Google knows the answer.

    While it’s tempting to write off the entirety of this survey as yet another example of how parents fail children by aggressively instilling sexism from an early age, the picture is a bit more complicated than that. Plenty of parents are actively worried about how well the children they’re raising will do when released from the nest into the real world. And parents do have reason to believe that women pay a much higher penalty for being overweight or considered unattractive than men do. And that’s just in the workplace. Parents are also generally interested in raising children that are social and romantic successes, and while that’s harder for social scientists to research, just living in the world should tell us that women’s looks and weight matter more than men’s. Needless to say, getting married matters way more for a woman to be considered a success than for a man, and parents aren’t immune to feeling that pressure. Even if a parent feels guilty about holding daughters to a higher standard in the looks department, fears that a daughter will be treated poorly as an adult if she’s heavy or considered homely likely override the desire to be fair. It’s not cool giving your daughter a complex about her looks, but that parents get a little aggressive in this department is somewhat understandable.

    Of course, the tendency to see every utterance that comes out of a boy’s mouth as indicative of his future genius while treating the same behavior from girls with indifference is just plain old sexism that can’t be excused in any way. This isn’t the bad old days where a woman’s intelligence had little bearing on her future success, and in fact, women outnumber men on college campuses. Parents, your early talking girl is just as likely to be a burgeoning Einstein as your boy is. No need to hold back in discussing your daughter’s intelligence with the search bar on Google.

    Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, Alternet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

    How to Talk to a Woman Without Saying, “Great Boots!”: A Guide for Women
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  • Marijuana Ads Banned On Google, Facebook And Twitter
    “Ganjapreneurs” are going to have to find another way to market their legal products online because Google, Facebook and Twitter are not going to let marijuana businesses advertise on their websites.

    Even in states like Colorado and Washington which have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana to adults, the Internet giants are sticking to their existing drug advertising policies.

    “If Google and Facebook can target alcohol ads to adults, they should be able to target ads to adults about a less harmful substance like marijuana in states where it is legal,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project and key backer of Amendment 64 which legalized recreational weed in Colorado, to The Huffington Post. “Such an arbitrary and hypocritical decision is not going to sit well with a lot of people who utilize these websites.”

    According to the Facebook Advertising Guidelines, “Ads may not promote or facilitate the sale or consumption of illegal or recreational drugs, tobacco products, or drug or tobacco paraphernalia.”

    Tim Rathschmidt, a spokesman for Facebook, told HuffPost that they do allow ads to promote advocacy and even the legalization of marijuana, however the ads cannot promote or facilitate the sale or consumption of illegal or recreational drugs. “The legality around the sale and use of marijuana greatly varies around the world,” Rathschmidt said, “which is part of the reason why we strictly prohibit the promotion of the sale and use of the drug itself. The risk of attempting to allow ads promoting the drug in certain states or countries where it is legal is too high for us to consider at this time. However, we work pretty hard to differentiate ads promoting the sale or use of the drug versus ads promoting advocacy or the legalization of the drug. The latter is the type of content we do not want to censor through ads, and is widely considered different than something promoting the actual drug itself.”

    Rathschmidt noted that Facebook has no plans to change the policy currently, but that they do often revisit policies.

    Twitter has a similar drug policy prohibiting the promotion of “drugs and drug paraphernalia globally.”

    The Twitter policy applies to illegal drugs which they define as a “substance sold to induce unnatural euphoria, unnatural highs or lows, psychoactive effects, or altered reality,” all accessories related to drug use like bongs or pipes and even products or services that feature access to drugs like a dispensary directory.

    Google’s official AdWords policy doesn’t allow the “promotion of illegal drugs, legal or synthetic highs, herbal drugs, chemicals and compounds with psychoactive effects, drug paraphernalia, or aids to pass drug tests.” Google specifically cites marijuana as one of the several drugs for which it does not allow ads and confirmed with HuffPost that the company hasn’t made any changes to the current policy, but that updates and reviews of their AdWords policies are frequent.

    Both Google and Facebook do allow alcohol advertising.

    Adweek first reported on the advertising problem for marijuana businesses on Google and Twitter saying that neither company is open to sponsored search ads or tweets from small marijuana shops.

    The ad policies aren’t exclusive to Google, Facebook and Twitter — other major search engines, like Bing and Yahoo, also have strict bans for drug-related advertisements on their websites and specifically site “recreational” drugs as part of the ban.

    HuffPost reached out to Twitter for comment and will update if we receive one.

  • Netflix CEO Basically Calls HBO His 'Bitch'
    Things between HBO and Netflix just got a little bit … awkward.

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took a shot at HBO CEO Richard Plepler in an earnings call on Wednesday after a JP Morgan analyst asked Hastings what he thought about Netflix subscribers sharing passwords. The analyst noted that the HBO CEO said last week that he doesn’t mind when people share their HBO Go passwords.

    Hastings had a surprising response:

    “So I guess Plepler … doesn’t mind me then sharing his [Netflix] account information. So it’s plepler@hbo.com and his password is ‘netflix bitch.’ “

    It’s unclear whether or not Hastings said “Netflix’s bitch or Netflix bitch,” and it doesn’t matter. The response from the analysts moderating the call — laughing at first and then silence — is priceless.

    Netflix has made no secret it wants to take on HBO. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told GQ in an article published last year that “The goal … is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”

    While Netflix now has more paying U.S. subscribers than HBO has, it has a long way to go when it comes to original content: HBO received a whopping 27 Emmy awards last year, while Netflix took home three.

  • Online Free Speech Threatened in Turkey
    The future of free speech online in Turkey hangs in the balance as the Turkish parliament considers legal provisions that would suppress Internet speech. Turkey’s blemished human rights record has already threatened the nation’s bid to join the European Union, and these proposed measures would further undermine human rights values championed by the EU. The world is watching. Turkish lawmakers must vote against the proposal.

    As president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to battle a high-profile corruption scandal and enters a new election cycle, the ruling Justice and Development Party is seeking to amend a set of Internet regulations, known as Law no. 5651, to give the government greater power over Internet content and expanded access to information about users. Because the measures are buried in a larger omnibus bill that will be submitted to a single vote, there is a real risk that the sweeping amendments will become law. The Parliament, which will likely vote within the next two weeks, should reject the amendments to Law no. 5651 and support the human rights of Turkish anti-corruption whistleblowers and ordinary Internet users alike.

    There are a number of red flags for Internet users’ free expression and privacy rights in the proposed measures. First, the amendments would require hosting providers to store data about users’ online activity for a period of one to two years. Government officials would be able to request these records without seeking a court’s permission. This sort of data retention mandate can discourage Internet users’ willingness to share and access information online, particularly information about sensitive topics such as health, politics, and religion. Government access to rich stores of information about a user’s online activity also raises significant privacy concerns, especially when this access can happen without judicial oversight.

    The amendments also include broad content blocking provisions that could be abused to suppress legitimate speech, including information about government corruption. Under the proposed measures, the government could force service providers to block access to content that violates a person’s “privacy of private life,” a standard that has no clear definition. The provider would have to comply with the blocking demand within four hours, without prior judicial review of the content. This type of immediate takedown requirement is highly vulnerable to abuse – even with after-the-fact judicial review of the demand, it would allow the government and private actors to suppress speech essentially at will. This tactic could be used to dramatically restrict free expression online, disrupting reporting on breaking news or advocacy around time-sensitive events, including elections, trials, and legislative votes.

    Amendments to Law no. 5651 are new, but the struggle for a free and open Internet in Turkey is ongoing. Courts blocked access to YouTube in 2007, but the ban was lifted in 2010. Just last week, video service Vimeo was also blocked temporarily after a court decision. In 2011, the Turkish government attempted to introduce mandatory Internet filters, but withdrew the proposal in the face of heavy criticism. And after nationwide protests last summer featured significant use of social media by activists, Erdoğan called Twitter a “menace” used to spread lies.

    The issue of Turkish Internet blocking has even reached the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In 2012, following a Turkish court order to block all Google sites due to a single post, the ECHR ruled that the overly broad block violated the right to freedom of expression. The ECHR also determined that the Turkish legal system was insufficient to prevent abusive and arbitrary blocking. Two years after the ECHR ruling, the ruling party is not only failing to heed the warnings of the ECHR, but also proposing measures that actively defy them. It must reverse course and should focus its efforts on reform.

    Turkey is an incredibly influential country that has the potential to bridge many of the divides between the East and West. The country needs a forward-looking Internet policy that respects free speech online and demonstrates its commitment to human rights. These proposals would be a major step back for the global Internet and the people of Turkey.

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