Governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to restrict internet freedom

The news: Global internet freedom has declined for the 10th year in a row as governments use the coronavirus pandemic as cover to restrict people’s rights, according to a report by think tank Freedom House. Its researchers assessed 65 countries, accounting for 87% of internet users worldwide. The report covers the period from June 2019 to May 2020, but some key changes took place when the pandemic struck.  

The pandemic effect: In at least 20 countries, the pandemic was cited as a reason to introduce sweeping new restrictions on speech and arrest online critics. In 28, governments blocked websites or forced outlets, users, or platforms to censor information in order to suppress critical reporting, unfavorable health statistics or other content related to the coronavirus. In at least 45 of the countries studied, people were arrested as a result of their online posts about covid-19.

Many countries are also conducting increasingly

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Pompeo to Travel to Mediterranean Countries and Vatican to Bolster Ties, Promote Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel next week to Greece, Italy, the Holy See and Croatia in a bid to shore up bilateral ties and promote religious freedom.

In Greece, Mr. Pompeo will undertake measures to improve economic ties and security cooperation between the nations. The secretary and Greek officials will sign a memorandum of understanding on science and technology.

While the top U.S. diplomat’s visit to Greece last October was limited to Athens, Mr. Pompeo next week will visit both Thessaloniki, home to Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, and Crete, home to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. On Crete, Mr. Pompeo will visit U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay.

The trip will be the first by a U.S. secretary of state to Thessaloniki, which a senior department official described as a “gateway to the Balkans in terms of investment and trade.”

Mr. Pompeo also will host a gathering of leaders

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Freedom Fighters, A Cult Classic From Hitman Dev, Has Returned On PC

Update: As speculated, IO Interactive’s cult classic game Freedom Fighters has been re-released on PC, 17 years after its original debut. The title is available now on Steam and GOG, and is coming to the Epic Games Store soon. It’s available for 33% off during its release week, and comes with the Jesper Kyd soundtrack as a bonus. This is a re-release, not a remake or remaster, so it looks and feels a lot like it did back in 2003.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication of the game coming to modern consoles. It is not part of the Xbox backwards compatibility program.

The original story follows.

Freedom Fighters, the 2003 cult classic from Hitman developer IO Interactive, might be making a comeback. The game, which was published by EA on PC, PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, has received a new rating from PEGI for PC.

The rating, which was discovered and shared

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Freedom Fighters, A Cult Classic From Hitman Dev, Might Be Coming Back

Freedom Fighters, the 2003 cult classic from Hitman developer IO Interactive, might be making a comeback. The game, which was published by EA on PC, PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, has received a new rating from PEGI for PC.

The rating, which was discovered and shared by ResetEra user dex3108, lists the publisher as IO Interactive. The studio went independent in 2017 after parting ways with Square Enix, and is currently working on Hitman 3. The release date is listed as September 21, 2020, but that could be a placeholder.

This could mean that the game is receiving a re-release, as the listing is identical from the previous entries aside from the publisher. The game is unavailable digitally, and is beloved enough that a touched-up re-release makes sense.

None of this is confirmed, but past precedent suggests that this rating could mean the game is going to be made available again

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