Censorship / Most Commented

Spam-linked Chinese Domain Registrar Caught in Porn Cleanup

Owen Fletcher of IDG News Service reports: "A Chinese domain registrar long criticized for serving malicious domains promised stricter oversight on Tuesday after being censured in a government crackdown on Internet porn. China's own domain registry regulator last week became the latest source to criticize Xinnet.com, a Beijing-based registrar, as the agency stepped up efforts to stop false user information from being used to register new domains." more»

Individuals Barred from Registering China's .CN Domain

Reported today in the Global Times: "China's network information center said that individuals are effectively barred from registering domain names ending with .cn unless they have a business license to show they're a bona fide company. ... The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) published a notice Sunday saying that applicants must submit written applications to the registration agents. The written materials must include an application form with an official seal, an enterprise business license and the registrant's ID card." more»

European Lawmakers Agreed on New Protections for Internet Users

Kevin J. O'Brien reporting in the New York Times: "European lawmakers on Thursday agreed on new protections for Internet users, striking a compromise between national governments seeking to impose tough anti-piracy laws and consumer organizations that wanted to enshrine Internet access as an unassailable right. The agreement removes the last hurdle to passage of sweeping changes to European telecommunications law, which had been held hostage for six months by the standoff over Internet access..." more»

IDNs in cc-Minor: an Unfinished Symphony

When he wanted to show the transformative and unifying power of the Internet to open this week's ICANN meeting in Seoul, ICANN President Rod Beckstrom had an ace in the hole: Korean guitarist Jay (Jeong-hyun Lim), who became a global YouTube sensation with his hard-rocking version of Pachelbel's Canon. As I watched Jay wail on his gold-plated guitar to standing ovations, I couldn't help but think of Rod waxing that the Internet was a "symphony" of ideas and voices from around the world. more»

China's Censorship Arms Race Escalates

Last week the China Digital Times reported that a photo (shown in the post) has been making the rounds in Chinese blogs and chatrooms. It is an image of a "computer science float" for Thursday's National Day parade, onto which somebody has photoshopped a screenshot of the Internet Explorer error message familiar to anybody who has ever tried to access a blocked website in China: "This page cannot be displayed." more»

ICANN and Free Speech

Upon being appointed as ICANN's new CEO in Sydney, Rod Beckstrom gave a rousing speech in which he stressed the vital importance of free expression on the Internet... Many ordinary, powerless people are indeed willing to fight and die. But is ICANN going to help them? Or at very least make sure that their decisions won't help those who want to muzzle them? more»

Green Dam is Breached… Now What?

As a number of China hands predicted, the Chinese government has postponed its mandate requiring that all computers sold in China must include the Green Dam -Youth Escort censorware by today. Yesterday after the news broke I told the Financial Times: "There's been this impression in the internet industry that when the Chinese government makes a demand, they have to roll over and play dead. The lesson here is that's not necessarily the case." more»

China Has Delayed Controversial Internet Filtering Software Requirement

China is to delay a controversial plan requiring all new computers sold in the country to be equipped with an internet filtering software, state media says. The filter, called Green Dam Youth Escort, was to have been required from Wednesday, but the industry ministry said computer makers needed more time. more»

US Senators Push Bill to Boost Internet, Communication Channels for Iranians

Voice of America reporting: "U.S. lawmakers say they plan legislation that would fund efforts to help Iranians receive and send information despite government restrictions. Independent Senator Joe Lieberman said Thursday that the bill intends to help the Iranian people stay 'one step ahead of the Iranian regime.'" Also a related report by AFP. more»

More Questions About WSJ Claims of Iran DPI

The Wall Street Journal's dubious story about Iran's use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) for spying, censorship and disinformation appears in a highly charged atmosphere. The US Republican right wing wants the US to talk tougher to Iran, to bomb-bomb-bomb, invade, or commit "regime change." More questions than mine have surfaced about the WSJ's story... more»

China Accuses Google for Vulgar Content

China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused Google's English language search engine of spreading vulgar content that violated the nation's law. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang did not directly answer a question about whether government action was responsible for recent disruptions in access to Google sites from within China. more»

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»