Censorship

Censorship / Most Commented

Democracy Now Video Reporting on Iran's European Aided Internet Monitoring Capabilities

Democracy Now has a video discussion on the recent reports about telecoms in Europe aiding the Iranian government develop highly sophisticated Internet censorship mechanisms or deep packet inspection. The WSJ recently reported that the Iranian monitoring capabilities where "at least in part [provided] by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finish cellphone compnay, in second half of 2008." (also see previous report: Iran's Internet Censorship Most Sophisticated in the Worldmore»

US Trade Officials Urge China to Drop New Internet Censorship Rule

Top US trade officials said Wednesday they have written to the Chinese government urging it to drop a new rule requiring all computers to be fitted with Internet filtering software [related]. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said China may be violating its World Trade Organization obligations by requiring all computers sold in the country from July 1 to carry the "Green Dam" program... more»

Nokia Denies Helping Iran With Internet Monitoring Capabilities

A joint venture of Siemens AG and Nokia Corp., two large European technology firms, is denying reports that Iran uses its Web-monitoring technology to censor and spy on its citizens' online activities. Nokia Siemens Networks said Monday that it has sold telecommunications systems to the Iranian government but that any built-in monitoring technology was for voice communications and not the Internet. more»

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Globally Protected Marks List (GPML)

At first blush, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Globally Protected Marks List (GPML) do not seem to have anything in common. The first is a politician of debated repute that is seeking to quell disputes over the legitimacy of his election. The second is a recommendation that seeks to protect trademark owners and consumers from an explosion of infringement and source confusion that could be wrought by the introduction of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs). However, upon a closer analysis, they do share one common flaw: both have arguably failed to appropriately prioritize the right to free speech... more»

Iran's Internet Censorship Most Sophisticated in the World

Iran's political filtering during the recent 2009 presidential campaign and the role of the Internet in the post-election turmoil has brought a heightened level of attention to the country's Internet filtering system. According to a status report just updated by the OpenNet Initiative, the Internet censorship system in Iran has become one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated in the world. Iran and China are the only countries that aggressively filter the Internet using their own technology. Iran's aggressive filtering measures "have contributed to the implementation of a centralized filtering strategy and a reduced reliance on Western technologies," says OpenNet. more»

China Backs Away from Censorship Software After Intense Citizen Outcry

China's authoritarian government has backed away from an order [related] that Internet-filtering software be loaded onto every new computer after an outcry by citizens accustomed to the relative freedom of online life. Legal challenges, petitions, and satirical cartoons had been part of a grass-roots effort to scuttle the initiative, announced earlier this month... more»

Iran and the Internet: Uneasy Standoff

We've received enough interest about our previous notes on Iranian Internet connectivity that I wanted to give a brief update, and some reflections. In short: Iran is still on the Internet. As the crisis deepens, people are literally risking their lives by continuing to use the Internet for coordination and communication. more»

China to Require All PCs Sold in Country to Include Censorship Software

China plans to require that all personal computers sold in the country as of July 1 be shipped with software that blocks access to certain websites, a move that could give government censors unprecedented control over how Chinese users access the internet. The software must either be preinstalled on the hard drive or enclosed on a compact disc. Chinese executives involved in the effort say the software is intended to block access to pornography... more»

China Blocks Twitter, Flickr, Bing, Hotmail, Windows Live, etc. Ahead of Tiananmen 20th Anniversary

On Herdict, the global crowd-sourcing censorship-tracking website, people are reporting censorship of Twitter on networks all over China‚Ķ with some people adding frustrated commentary, often including the f-word. You can also see blockage reports for Hotmail, Windows Live, Bing, Flickr, YouTube, Blogspot... more»

China Starts Coordinated Internet Blackout Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary

Various sources are reporting that the Chinese authorities have blocked internet access to popular social networking and email sites such as Twitter, Flickr reviews, Bing, Live.com, Hotmail.com and several others. According to the Telegraph, "[T]he measures came as the authorities tried to close all avenues of dissent ahead of Thursday's anniversary, placing prominent critics under house arrest and banning newspaper from making any mention of the pro-democracy protests." This latest co-ordinated internet 'blackout' was initiated at 5 P.M. local time as various websites suddenly became unavailable to Chinese internet users. more»

China Orders All Online Content Providers to Apply for Internet License

China's powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and TV has tightened its grip on the biz by ordering all online content providers to apply for a license before broadcasting material on the Internet. The new rules are a blow to foreign producers trying to break into the potentially lucrative but heavily regulated Chinese market because it effectively means that only state-approved TV stations and cinemas will be able to import content for webcasting. more»

Australia's Censorship Plan Reaching Dead End

Australian government's plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled, following an independent senator's decision to join the Greens and Opposition (also see post on backlash) in blocking any legislation required to get the scheme started. The Opposition's communications spokesman Nick Minchin has this week obtained independent legal advice saying that if the Government is to pursue a mandatory filtering regime "legislation of some sort will almost certainly be required". more»

Internet Control Without "Firewalls"

Open Society Fellow Evgeny Morozov and I have written an Op-Ed for Project Syndicate about how the future of Internet control is not "firewall" censorship but more subtle forms of manipulation and pressure. Recognizing that censorship is too heavy handed and imperfect to be successful on its own, the Chinese government's Internet strategy is placing increasing emphasis on corporate self-censorship... more»

Distributed Reporting of Web Filtering

Today the Berkman Center announced a new project that might be of interest to readers. Since 2002 I've studied Internet filtering around the world, most recently as part of the OpenNet Initiative. Last year with support of the MacArthur Foundation we published "Access Denied," a study of filtering in about 40 states. Our work so far has been centralized... We're now complementing that effort with a distributed reporting system... more»

US Supreme Court Rejects Online Child Protection Law

The U.S. Supreme Court today again refused to resurrect a federal law that required Web sites containing "material harmful to minors" to implement age-based access restrictions, presumably ending a 10-year fight over whether the law violated free-speech rights on the Internet. The court declined to hear an appeal that was filed by former President George W. Bush's administration, asking the justices to overturn a lower court's ruling against enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act of 1998. In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit struck down COPA for the third time, saying that the law was a vague and overly broad attack on free speech. more»