April lived up to its name and was indeed the cruellest month for some. While South Africa was engulfed in election fever, some of the bleakest news of the year as far as the internet was concerned broke overseas. But there were some happy times too…
- A bug in the OpenSSL libraries which are/were widely used for encrypting traffic on some two thirds of internet server was discovered. The worst part wasn’t that the so called Heartbleed bug put almost every secure transaction ever made at risk: it was that it had lain hidden in the open source files for two decades.
- As elections neared, the public broadcaster was accused of censoring political ads produced by the DA.
- In Ethiopia, a group of bloggers were rounded up and arrested without trial on dubious charges, for writing stories critical of the current government. They are still in prison, still haven’t haven’t had recourse to justice.
- The first person tried for online copyright infringement in South Africa pleaded guilty and received a fine and suspended sentence.
And in happier news:
- The Guardian won a Pulitzer for its publication of the Edward Snowden files.
- Elon Musk reported that the first test flight of SpaceX’s reusable rocket lander was a success.
- And the cast of Star Wars VII was announced, including most of the actors from the original trilogy.