Launch Your Business in Georgia (The Country, not the State)


This post is by Janelle Apaydin from 500 Startups

The following post is written by Nato Chakvetadze, Program Associate for 500Georgia. Gavin: Here everything is so expensive. Look at the numbers. If we move to Georgia, we can save a fortune and get a further investment. It’s the only way. Denpok: Well, I have heard good things about the food scene in the Dirty South. Hoover: Stankonia. Freaknik. Might be nice to be around more people of color. Gavin: What? Not Atlanta. Tbilisi. The country of Georgia, not the state. -Silicon Valley (Season 6, Episode 2) Yes, you heard it right – this is an article about Georgia, the country, not the state.  500 Startups recently launched 500Georgia, the first international accelerator in the country, in partnership with two …

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Look Outside of Silicon Valley to See How Founders Can Be Successful Post-COVID-19


This post is by Vijay Rajendran from 500 Startups

500 Startups kicked off a new series called Innovation Coffee Breaks. Experts from leading companies, venture capital firms and startups join us every week to discuss how to innovate during this time of uncertainty.  We caught up with Alex Lazarow, the investment director of Cathay Innovation, a global fund affiliated with Cathay Capital. Lazarow also teaches entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies and is out with a new book called “Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.”  He believes that the best entrepreneurs in Chicago, Amsterdam or Bangalore have more in common with the best entrepreneurs in São Paulo than they do with those in San Francisco, but no one …

The post Look Outside of Silicon Valley to See How Founders Can Be Successful Post-COVID-19 appeared first on 500 Startups.

Recognizing World Press Freedom Day During COVID-19


This post is by Naomi Gilens from Deeplinks

In the face of a global pandemic, there is an urgent need for reporting relating to the spread of the coronavirus and how governments are responding. But it is in times of crisis that the civil liberties we value most are put to the test—and that is exactly what is happening now as governments around the world clamp down on journalism and stifle the free flow of critical information.

With so little currently known about the novel coronavirus, governments around the world have seized the opportunity to control the narrative around the virus and their responses to it. In countries including Algeria, Azerbaijan, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Palestine, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, and more, authorities have banned individuals and journalists from sharing false or misleading information about the coronavirus.

Criminalizing “false information,” however, gives the party in control of law enforcement the power to define what information is “true” or “correct.” And such laws also give the government and the power to censor, detain, arrest, and prosecute those who share information that doesn’t align with the official state narrative.

This is already happening. In Cambodia, police have arrested at least 17 people for spreading “false information” about coronavirus—including four members of the opposition political party, all of whom remain in detention, and a teenage girl expressing fears on social media about the  rumored spread of the virus at her school.

In Turkey, authorities have detained people for making “unfounded” postings on social media criticizing the Turkish government’s response to the pandemic and suggesting that the coronavirus was spreading widely in the country—even though, according to independent reporting, this is exactly the case.

Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have detained journalists and threatened them with prosecution. The detained journalists had posted on social media about coronavirus, and about government censorship and militancy in Kashmir.

Even Puerto Rico, a United States territory that—like the fifty states—is bound by the free speech protections enshrined in the Constitution, has enacted a plainly unconstitutional law prohibiting, in certain circumstances, the spread of some types of “false information” related to the government’s response to the virus.

But as the world battles a novel and little-understood virus threatening lives and livelihoods around the globe, ensuring the free flow of information is more important now than ever. Who knows how the course of the virus could have been different if China had not silenced Wuhan Doctor Li Wenliang when he sought to sound the alarm about the new coronavirus during its earliest days, instead of silencing him with accusations of spreading false rumors?  

By embracing China’s approach, governments are choosing to censor, instead of foster, reporting about how the crisis is unfolding. The threat of interrogation, detention, and arrest chills journalists, political activists, and individuals from sharing their experiences, investigating official actions, or challenging the government’s narrative.

To be sure, governments play a critical role in battling the global pandemic—and that includes by acting as sources of important information. But that does not mean that governments should anoint themselves the sole arbiters of truth and falsity, and strip individuals’ rights to investigate the government’s claims, question the official narrative, and share their research, observations, or experiences.  

After all, the very premise of “false news” laws—that there always exists an identifiable, objective “truth”—is often hollow. Particularly in this quickly evolving crisis, even the most well-intentioned parties’ understandings of the virus are changing rapidly. Only two months ago, the U.S. government was stating that face masks were not effective and instructing people not to wear them—but today, the opposite guidance is in effect (and has been in some other countries for some time now).

Moreover, the United States Supreme Court has made clear that even intentionally false speech cannot be criminalized where that speech does not cause material, provable harm. Allowing the government to police individuals’ speech for truth or falsity would simply be too great a burden on the right to speak free from government scrutiny. “Our constitutional tradition stands against the idea that we need Oceania’s Ministry of Truth.”

Although international human rights law (namely, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or ICCPR) allows for certain restrictions on free expression—provided by law and deemed necessary—for the protection of national security, public health, public order, or morals, a 2017 joint declaration of special mandates unequivocally opposed general prohibitions on fake news:

General prohibitions on the dissemination of information based on vague and ambiguous ideas, including “false news” or “non-objective information,” are incompatible with international standards for restrictions on freedom of expression . . . and should be abolished.

And in a new report on COVID-19 and freedom of expression, David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, acknowledged the harms that mis- and disinformation poses in a pandemic, noted the elusiveness of any singular definition of disinformation, and re-emphasized the importance of countering untruths. But the Special Rapporteur warned against laws aimed at punishing false information, cautioning:

Measures to combat disinformation must never prevent journalists and media actors from carrying out their work or lead to content being unduly blocked on the Internet. . . . Vague prohibitions of disinformation effectively empower government officials with the ability to determine the truthfulness or falsity of content in the public and political domain. 

As we observe World Press Freedom Day and celebrate the work of the press to hold governments accountable, we must also protect the ability of journalists, activists, and citizens to speak out without fear that they will be arrested or imprisoned for the information they share.

Members of Congress Once Again Urge ICANN to Save Dot Org


This post is by Katharine Trendacosta from Deeplinks

As the proposed sale of the .ORG domain registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital plays out, we see more and more why this sale was rushed through: the longer we have to look at it, the more questions we all have, and the fewer answers we get. For the second time, some of the people questioning the wisdom of this sale are members of the U.S. Congress.

On March 18, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Edward Markey, and Representative Anna Eshoo sent a new letter [.pdf]  to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), urging, for the second time, that ICANN reject the “private equity takeover of the .ORG registry.”

The members of Congress pointed out that their previous questions have still not gotten satisfactory answers from ICANN, Public Interest Registry (PIR, the currently-a-nonprofit entity that runs .ORG that will be converted to a for-profit if this sale goes forward), and Ethos Capital. What we do know is that, while PIR claimed that ICANN’s review of the deal is limited to whether the sale will keep .ORG “secure, reliable, and stable,” ICANN itself said, “This is wrong.” ICANN can, in fact, consider the impact of the sale on the “public interest and the interest of the .ORG community.”

Take Action

Stand up for .ORG

Of course, the sale is against the interest of the .ORG community. More than 25,000 people and 858 organizations have signed a letter demanding a stop to the sale. The impact on the public interest is proved by, among other things, the weakness of the “stewardship council” that Ethos claims will prevent them from harming the nonprofit community. Among other problems, PIR has reserved for itself the ability to ignore the council, making its existence basically moot.

The deal loses even on PIR’s preferred home court of the security, reliability, and stability of the .ORG domain registry. Ethos Capital and PIR claim that the benefits of converting PIR from a nonprofit for a for-profit is that it will allow them to take “risks” and develop new “products and services.” The members of Congress point out that in a webinar held last month neither PIR’s CEO nor Ethos’s CEO could give “a single, clear example of a useful new product or service that would be offered in exchange for the private equity-funded takeover of the .ORG domain, or an explanation of how .ORG being operated by a company that is ‘in the business of taking risks’ would be in the public interest.”

Based on EFF’s and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund’s analysis of what is publicly known about this deal, it seems like the outcome can only be a PIR burdened with debt that will likely be paid off by reducing investments in technical upkeep, which could hurt reliability, security, and stability of the domains; charging nonprofits higher fees, under a new rule that allows PIR to raise prices up to 10% every year; allowing PIR and Ethos Capital to double the registration fee within seven years; and offering unspecified “new products and services” that could harm the interests of nonprofits in .ORG.

Ethos Capital and PIR have tried to use Public Interest Commitments (PICs), in order to make the square peg of this deal fit in the round hole of what is wanted and needed by the .ORG community. One PIC concerns registration fees, but doesn’t address any other burden PIR could place on .ORG registrants, many of whom rely on their .ORG address and have spent years making it a safe and reliable site for people seeking information and help from a nonprofit to go and therefore are incredibly reluctant to give up the address. As the letter from the members of Congress states, “we remain concerned that, if the sale is approved, Ethos can and will impose unlimited additional fees on registrants or registrars, which would not be addressed by the PIC’s price limit on registration fees.”

It’s incredibly important that people looking for help from nonprofits are able to go to the established, stable website to ask for it. In emergencies, people looking for help or reliable information are under extreme stress and need to get to the exact organization they are seeking, without interruption. And if someone is looking to donate to nonprofits providing vital services, it’s equally important they give their money or other gift to the right place.

The important work of the .ORG community should not be interrupted by anything, and certainly not a sale which will wring money out of that community while risking the reliability and stability it needs.

The Right to Anonymity is Vital to Free Expression: Now and Always


This post is by Jillian C. York from Deeplinks

There are myriad reasons why individuals may wish to use a name other than the one they were born with. They may be concerned about threats to their lives or livelihoods, or they may risk political or economic retribution. They may wish to prevent discrimination or they may use a name that’s easier to pronounce or spell in a given culture.”

These words, from a blog post we published nine years ago during my first year at EFF, remain as true as ever. Whether we’re talking about whistleblowers, victims of domestic violence, queer and trans youth who aren’t out to their local communities, or human rights workers, secure anonymity is critical for these individuals, even life-saving.

And yet, our right to anonymity online remains at risk. Just last month, British television presenter Caroline Flack’s death by suicide prompted calls for more regulation of social media, with some pundits suggesting platforms require ID. In India, a similar proposal is expected to be released by the country’s IT Ministry, although reports indicate that verification would be optional.

Proponents of such proposals believe that when people use their “real” name, they behave more civilly toward one another. Facebook has long maintained that their policy requiring “authentic identity” keeps users safe. But the evidence just isn’t there. One report, from the Coral Project, breaks down the fallacy of why people believe anonymity makes people less civil, while another—from commenting platform Disqus—suggests that people are at their kindest when using a pseudonym.

But most importantly, there are myriad reasons why anonymity and pseudonymity remain vital tools for free expression and safety. Take, for instance, our recent case involving Darkspilver, a member of the Jehovah’s Witness community who posted comments—including a copy of an advertisement from the organization’s Watchtower magazine—to Reddit. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society pursued a copyright claim against Darkspilver over the advertisement. A magistrate judge ruled that the organization should be able to pursue its claim, and ordered the disclosure of Darkspilver’s identity.

Darkspilver had serious concerns about being “disfellowshipped” from their community, having seen others cut off from their families and communities. EFF was able to successfully appeal in District Court, however, and Darkspilver’s anonymity remains protected.

Today, as we’re seeing many of our digital rights impacted by governments’ handling of COVID-19, the right to anonymity remains vital. We’ve already seen important medical information being shared with the press by anonymous health experts in Wuhan. We’ve also already heard stories of vital information being suppressed, and arrests of those who speak out against their governments.

In times of turmoil, authorities might scapegoat anonymous speakers, blaming them for societal challenges. But anonymous speech is often how the public finds out the depth and severity of those challenges, be it an abuse of political power or the severity of a global pandemic. Without anonymous speech, some lies powerful people tell would go unchecked.

Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil


This post is by Bedy Yang from 500 Startups

I first met Flavio in 2013, when he co-invested alongside 500 Startups in Olist, one of Brazil’s largest online marketplaces–which recently raised a Series C round. Olist’s founder was in our San Francisco accelerator program, and in his next round of funding turned to Flavio, who was then president of Walmart.com in Brazil. He became instrumental in building Olist’s name.  Flavio already had a solid reputation as an e-commerce pioneer and operator in the country. For nearly two decades, he helped multiple companies, including multinationals, launch their online operations in Brazil. After a successful experience at Philips, Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s biggest retailers, hired him to re-launch its website and improve the user experience as head of e-commerce. Those …

The post Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil appeared first on 500 Startups.

NGO Community Urges ICANN to Scrutinize the .ORG Sale


This post is by Elliot Harmon from Deeplinks

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is reviewing the proposed sale of the .ORG domain registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital, and ICANN has the power to stop the sale. EFF and several other organizations joined a public forum today as part of ICANN’s winter meeting to ask ICANN questions about how it plans to review the change of ownership to protect noncommercial users’ interests.

To date, over 25,000 people and 839 organizations have signed a letter demanding a stop to the sale, which would let Ethos Capital raise domain registration fees and implement new enforcement mechanisms to unfairly censor NGOs. Under the Registry Agreement (RA), the document that describes how the registry must be run, ICANN has the ability to review the sale. If it has doubts about whether Public Interest Registry (PIR, the organization that runs .ORG) will responsibly manage .ORG after the sale, then ICANN can terminate the agreement.

Unfortunately, the ICANN staff and board did not answer any of our questions today, but we hope to hear from them in the coming days.

Take Action

Stand up for .ORG

Public Interest Commitments Won’t Adequately Protect Users

As EFF and NTEN recently explained, Ethos Capital’s attempt to address criticism by forming a Stewardship Council doesn’t resolve the NGO sector’s concerns. PIR’s ability to veto council members ensures that the council will stay in lockstep with PIR. As EFF’s Mitch Stoltz asked in today’s meeting:

PIR has proposed to create a Stewardship Council Continue reading NGO Community Urges ICANN to Scrutinize the .ORG Sale

Argentinian Companies Still Have a Long Way to Go in Defense of Their Users’ Privacy, Second “Who Defends Your Data” Report Shows


This post is by Veridiana Alimonti from Deeplinks

Argentinian civil rights group Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) has just launched its second edition of the ¿Quien Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?) report, rating nine companies’ commitments to transparency and user privacy.

Argentinian companies are off to a good start but still have a long way to go to fully protect their customers’ personal data and be transparent about who has access to it. This years’ report shows Telefónica-Movistar taking the lead, followed far away by Telecentro, IPLAN, Claro. This was the first year Claro was included in the Argentina report and it presented poor results compared to its evaluation in other countries in which it operates, such as Chile and Brazil. This year, two companies from the previous report have merged, Fibertel (Cablevisión) and Arnet (Telecom), leading to a concentration of 68% of the fixed broadband market in just one firm.

This year’s edition also rates for the first time the three most popular delivery service apps – Glovo, Pedidos Ya, and Rappi – which represent a growing market in the country and similarly deal with sensitive details about peoples’ habits. Rappi is the best ranked among them.

Regarding ISPs, the scores are similar to the first edition with a few notable improvements, such as IPLAN’s release of a privacy policy.

The final results of the report are below.  The full study, including details about each company, is available in Spanish

Evaluation Criteria for ¿Quién Defiende tus Continue reading Argentinian Companies Still Have a Long Way to Go in Defense of Their Users’ Privacy, Second “Who Defends Your Data” Report Shows

Empty Promises Won’t Save the .ORG Takeover


This post is by Elliot Harmon from Deeplinks

The Internet Society’s (ISOC) November announcement that it intended to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR, the organization that oversees the .ORG domain name registry) to a private equity firm sent shockwaves through the global NGO sector. The announcement came just after a change to the .ORG registry agreement—the agreement that outlines how the registry operator must run the domain—that gives PIR significantly more power to raise registration fees and implement new measures to censor organizations’ speech.

It didn’t take long for the global NGO sector to put two and two together: take a new agreement that gives the registry owner power to hurt NGOs; combine it with a new owner whose primary obligation is to its investors, not its users; and you have a recipe for danger for nonprofits and NGOs all over the world that rely on .ORG. Since November, over 800 organizations and 24,000 individuals from all over the world have signed an open letter urging ISOC to stop the sale of PIR. Members of Congress, UN Special Rapporteurs, and US state charity regulators [pdf] have raised warning flags about the sale.

Take Action

Stand up for .ORG

The NGO community must have a real say in the direction of the .ORG registry, not a nominal rubber stamp exercised by people who owe their position to PIR.

Ethos Capital—the mysterious private equity firm trying to buy PIR—has heard the outcry. Ethos and PIR attempted last week to convene a secret meeting with NGO sector stakeholders Continue reading Empty Promises Won’t Save the .ORG Takeover

Empty Promises Won’t Save the .ORG Takeover


This post is by Elliot Harmon from Deeplinks

The Internet Society’s (ISOC) November announcement that it intended to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR, the organization that oversees the .ORG domain name registry) to a private equity firm sent shockwaves through the global NGO sector. The announcement came just after a change to the .ORG registry agreement—the agreement that outlines how the registry operator must run the domain—that gives PIR significantly more power to raise registration fees and implement new measures to censor organizations’ speech.

It didn’t take long for the global NGO sector to put two and two together: take a new agreement that gives the registry owner power to hurt NGOs; combine it with a new owner whose primary obligation is to its investors, not its users; and you have a recipe for danger for nonprofits and NGOs all over the world that rely on .ORG. Since November, over 800 organizations and 24,000 individuals from all over the world have signed an open letter urging ISOC to stop the sale of PIR. Members of Congress, UN Special Rapporteurs, and US state charity regulators [pdf] have raised warning flags about the sale.

Take Action

Stand up for .ORG

The NGO community must have a real say in the direction of the .ORG registry, not a nominal rubber stamp exercised by people who owe their position to PIR.

Ethos Capital—the mysterious private equity firm trying to buy PIR—has heard the outcry. Ethos and PIR attempted last week to convene a secret meeting with NGO sector stakeholders Continue reading Empty Promises Won’t Save the .ORG Takeover

Apple, Tell Us More About Your App Store Takedowns


This post is by Mona Wang from Deeplinks

EFF and 10 human rights organizations called out Apple for enabling China’s censorship and surveillance regime through overly broad content restrictions on the App Store in China, and for its decision to move iCloud backups and encryption keys to within China. In a letter to Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president and App Store lead, the groups asked for more transparency about App Store takedowns and to meet with Apple executives to discuss the company’s decisions and ways Apple can rectify harms against Apple users most affected by the removals.

Apple removed thousands of applications in China, including news apps by Quartz and the New York Times, foreign software services like Google Earth, and network applications like Tor and other VPN apps. Last year, Apple capitulated to state pressure to remove HKmap.live, a crowdsourced map application being used by Hong Kong protestors. 

According to Apple’s transparency report, hundreds of applications were taken down in the first half of 2019 due to “pornography or illegal content”. In this case, “Illegal content” spans the breadth of China’s own draconian Internet security laws. In the letter, EFF and its partners asked that if Apple removes apps due to violations of local law, the company should pressure governments to be specific, transparent, and consistent in their requirements, and work to provide app developers and the general public with written documentation of the specific law violated, as well as the authority that is requiring the app’s removal. If Apple wishes Continue reading Apple, Tell Us More About Your App Store Takedowns

Apple, Tell Us More About Your App Store Takedowns


This post is by Mona Wang from Deeplinks

EFF and 10 human rights organizations called out Apple for enabling China’s censorship and surveillance regime through overly broad content restrictions on the App Store in China, and for its decision to move iCloud backups and encryption keys to within China. In a letter to Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice president and App Store lead, the groups asked for more transparency about App Store takedowns and to meet with Apple executives to discuss the company’s decisions and ways Apple can rectify harms against Apple users most affected by the removals.

Apple removed thousands of applications in China, including news apps by Quartz and the New York Times, foreign software services like Google Earth, and network applications like Tor and other VPN apps. Last year, Apple capitulated to state pressure to remove HKmap.live, a crowdsourced map application being used by Hong Kong protestors. 

According to Apple’s transparency report, hundreds of applications were taken down in the first half of 2019 due to “pornography or illegal content”. In this case, “Illegal content” spans the breadth of China’s own draconian Internet security laws. In the letter, EFF and its partners asked that if Apple removes apps due to violations of local law, the company should pressure governments to be specific, transparent, and consistent in their requirements, and work to provide app developers and the general public with written documentation of the specific law violated, as well as the authority that is requiring the app’s removal. If Apple wishes Continue reading Apple, Tell Us More About Your App Store Takedowns

Uruguay Steps Too Quickly into the Right to be Forgotten Quagmire


This post is by Veridiana Alimonti from Deeplinks

The further the “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) online progresses from its original creation by Europe’s Court of Justice, the broader and more damaging its ramifications seem to be. The latest attempt to insert it is a rushed proposal in Uruguay. The complaints of multiple digital rights groups across Latin America show how unwise the Uruguayan proposal isand how vexing efforts to adopt the right can quickly become.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) started the current rash of RTBF proposals in 2014 by injecting the spirit of the “droit a l’oubli” laws of some of its member countries into pre-existing, European Union-wide, data protection law. The court’s decision in the case was aimed at Google’s search results, though it applied to all search engines, and required them to de-index web pages from search results at the request of individuals when those pages contained personal information that was “out-of-date, inaccurate, or irrelevant.”

The CJEU sought to address a serious problem in recognizing a Right to be Forgotten. Many jurisdictions recognize that the easy discovery of past bad actsfor example, the records of past convictions when the perpetrator has been rehabilitatedcan cause lasting and disproportionate harm. But working out how to map these concerns to the modern era is a serious challenge: one that involves  balancing the benefits that the CJEU recognized, with the dangers to free expression, including the dangers of obscuring facts from our online historical record, and Continue reading Uruguay Steps Too Quickly into the Right to be Forgotten Quagmire

Uruguay Steps Too Quickly into the Right to be Forgotten Quagmire


This post is by Veridiana Alimonti from Deeplinks

The further the “Right to be Forgotten” (RTBF) online progresses from its original creation by Europe’s Court of Justice, the broader and more damaging its ramifications seem to be. The latest attempt to insert it is a rushed proposal in Uruguay. The complaints of multiple digital rights groups across Latin America show how unwise the Uruguayan proposal isand how vexing efforts to adopt the right can quickly become.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) started the current rash of RTBF proposals in 2014 by injecting the spirit of the “droit a l’oubli” laws of some of its member countries into pre-existing, European Union-wide, data protection law. The court’s decision in the case was aimed at Google’s search results, though it applied to all search engines, and required them to de-index web pages from search results at the request of individuals when those pages contained personal information that was “out-of-date, inaccurate, or irrelevant.”

The CJEU sought to address a serious problem in recognizing a Right to be Forgotten. Many jurisdictions recognize that the easy discovery of past bad actsfor example, the records of past convictions when the perpetrator has been rehabilitatedcan cause lasting and disproportionate harm. But working out how to map these concerns to the modern era is a serious challenge: one that involves  balancing the benefits that the CJEU recognized, with the dangers to free expression, including the dangers of obscuring facts from our online historical record, and Continue reading Uruguay Steps Too Quickly into the Right to be Forgotten Quagmire

When Computer Crimes Are Used To Silence Journalists: Why EFF Stands Against the Prosecution of Glenn Greenwald


This post is by rainey Reitman from Deeplinks

This week, prosecutors in Brazil filed a criminal complaint against Glenn Greenwald, an internationally lauded journalist best known for publishing leaked documents detailing the NSA’s mass surveillance. Greenwald’s prosecution is an attempt to use computer crime law to silence an investigative reporter who exposed deep-seated government corruption. Sadly, this isn’t the first such effort and, unless we stop this drift to criminalizing journalism, it likely won’t be the last.

Legal prosecution and character attacks are familiar tools used to silence investigative journalists who expose corruption. The use of cybercrime laws to do so, however, is relatively new.

Greenwald has faced a prolonged and complicated legal standoff in Brazil since he published documents showing that a federal judge in Brazil colluded with prosecutors to convict former leftist president Lula da Silva. That conviction was crucial to preventing da Silva from running in the last election, which was instrumental in Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro successfully ascending to power. Greenwald published private chat conversations, audio recordings, videos, photos, court proceedings, and other documentation provided by an anonymous source showing, among other things, the collusion between prosecutors and the judge, who has since been appointed as Brazil’s top judicial minister.

Since those articles were published, Greenwald and his family have dealt with legal threats (including a statement from President Bolsonaro that Greenwald could “do jail time”), death threats, and homophobic persecution.

Unfortunately, legal prosecution and character attacks are familiar tools used to silence investigative journalists who expose corruption. The use Continue reading When Computer Crimes Are Used To Silence Journalists: Why EFF Stands Against the Prosecution of Glenn Greenwald

When Computer Crimes Are Used To Silence Journalists: Why EFF Stands Against the Prosecution of Glenn Greenwald


This post is by rainey Reitman from Deeplinks

This week, prosecutors in Brazil filed a criminal complaint against Glenn Greenwald, an internationally lauded journalist best known for publishing leaked documents detailing the NSA’s mass surveillance. Greenwald’s prosecution is an attempt to use computer crime law to silence an investigative reporter who exposed deep-seated government corruption. Sadly, this isn’t the first such effort and, unless we stop this drift to criminalizing journalism, it likely won’t be the last.

Legal prosecution and character attacks are familiar tools used to silence investigative journalists who expose corruption. The use of cybercrime laws to do so, however, is relatively new.

Greenwald has faced a prolonged and complicated legal standoff in Brazil since he published documents showing that a federal judge in Brazil colluded with prosecutors to convict former leftist president Lula da Silva. That conviction was crucial to preventing da Silva from running in the last election, which was instrumental in Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro successfully ascending to power. Greenwald published private chat conversations, audio recordings, videos, photos, court proceedings, and other documentation provided by an anonymous source showing, among other things, the collusion between prosecutors and the judge, who has since been appointed as Brazil’s top judicial minister.

Since those articles were published, Greenwald and his family have dealt with legal threats (including a statement from President Bolsonaro that Greenwald could “do jail time”), death threats, and homophobic persecution.

Unfortunately, legal prosecution and character attacks are familiar tools used to silence investigative journalists who expose corruption. The use Continue reading When Computer Crimes Are Used To Silence Journalists: Why EFF Stands Against the Prosecution of Glenn Greenwald

The Future of Startup Ecosystems Across the Globe

The idea of being a founder has never been so popular around the world, so how is that going to change industries and entire regions? This year we dove headfirst into the rise of corporate venture capital, the changing nature of venture capital education, and the important task of startup ecosystem building. Fast Growing Corporate Venture Capital  With headlines from Softbank, Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and more, corporate venture capital is growing faster than ever. In 2018, we saw this trend reach new heights with more corporate venture capital (CVC) funds than ever. And in 2019, 500 decided to dive into CVC behavior in an unprecedented way.  From May to July 2019, we surveyed over 100 unique corporate venture capital …

The post The Future of Startup Ecosystems Across the Globe appeared first on 500 Startups.

Ready to scale in Southeast Asia? Start in Singapore.

While people may think of Singapore as a top startup city, what they may not realize is that this city-state potentially has quite a bit more to offer as a local hub when looking to scale throughout the region. This fall, we kicked off Global Launch, a program aimed at building bridges between Singapore and the Silicon Valley. This two-way program brings Singaporean startups here to San Francisco for targeted immersion and education in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and sends another group of global startups to Singapore as they prepare entry into the Southeast Asian market.  We caught up with a few startups from Batch 1 of the Global Launch – SF Program, who have scaled in Singapore …

The post Ready to scale in Southeast Asia? Start in Singapore. appeared first on 500 Startups.

The Future of Corporate Venture Capital

The following is an excerpt from 500’s latest report, Unlocking Corporate Venture Capital. How has corporate venture capital changed? In the decade since the Great Recession, we have seen digital upstarts – taking advantage of disruptive technologies from AI to IoT – reshape the economy and the corporate pecking order.  Conventional wisdom dictated that incumbents should focus their innovation efforts on R&D and growing their cash cows while investing in a few startups. But the rate of change has accelerated and with it, the balance of internal versus external investment. We believe the new corporate landscape calls for new strategies. As one of the most active, early-stage investors in the world¹, 500 Startups has a unique perspective on the innovation …

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500 Around the World: Takeaways from the Sberbank-500 Accelerator

If 500 has learned one thing from investing in over 75 countries, it’s the importance of placing bets in all the right founders and helping build ecosystems for them to thrive in. 500 is a firm believer of the idea that talent can be found everywhere, but you have to understand where that talent is and what unique challenges they are going to face in their region. One of these often-overlooked regions is Russia, which despite challenges, has a booming tech and startup ecosystem.  Last year, 500 partnered with Sberbank—Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution—to launch an accelerator in Moscow, bridging the gap in knowledge and social capital between Silicon Valley and Russia. Thirty hand-selected startups took …

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