Censorship

Censorship / Most Commented

U.S. Pushes China to Explain Extensive Blocking of Internet Services

The United States is pressing China to explain why its "national firewall" extensively block U.S. companies from providing Internet services in the country. "Having a presence on the Internet that is visible in China is increasingly a critical element for service suppliers aiming to reach Chinese consumers and business," Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Michael Punke said in a letter on Monday to his Chinese counterpart. more»

Europe Drafting Charter for Internet Users, Denouncing Overregulation

The Council of Europe plans to establish an Internet user charter to guarantee the rights of consumers in an era of increasing government attempts to seize control of the Web, its deputy secretary general said on Tuesday. "We want to emphasize the development, perhaps in the form of a charter on the rights of Internet users so they can claim openness, universality, access and affordability and possibly to know who to turn to if these principles are not respected," Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said. more»

EFF: Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name

Corynne McSherry from EFF reports: "In a cursory opinion issued today that left us scratching our heads, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. ... Puerto 80, the Spanish company behind popular sports streaming sites Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, which were both seized by U.S. ICE earlier this year -- even though a Spanish court found they did not violate copyright law -- had filed a petition to have the sites released pending a trial on the merits of the case." more»

Minding the GAC and the Heckler's Veto

ICANN meetings sometimes congeal around a single theme. In San Francisco the theme was captured on clever t-shirts bearing the iconic symbol of the London Underground with the words, "Mind the GAC." Here was a succinct and timely plea for the ICANN Board to pay serious attention to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)'s concerns about new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), rather than to risk undermining the long-term viability of the multi-stakeholder model. more»

Editorials Against PROTECT-IP

First the Los Angeles Times, now the New York Times have both printed editorials critical of the PROTECT-IP bill. Both the LAT and NYT support copyright - and announce as much in their opening sentences. That doesn't mean we should sacrifice Internet security and stability for legitimate DNS users, nor the transparency of the rule of law. more»

Internet Three Strikes Laws Violate International Law, Says UN Report

Michael Geist reporting in his blog: "The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has released an important new report that examines freedom of expression on the Internet. The report is very critical of rules such as graduated response/three strikes, arguing that such laws may violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, the report expresses concerns with notice-and-takedown systems, noting that it is subject to abuse by both governments and private actors." more»

Google Chairman: Anti-Privacy Laws, DNS Blocking Disaster for Free Speech

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, warned on Wednesday that government plans to block access to illicit filesharing websites could set a "disastrous precedent" for freedom of speech. "If there is a law that requires DNSs to do X and it's passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it. If it's a request the answer is we wouldn't do it, if it's a discussion we wouldn't do it." more»

Debugging Legislation: PROTECT IP

There's more than a hint of theatrics in the draft PROTECT IP bill that has emerged as son-of-COICA, starting with the ungainly acronym of a name. Given its roots in the entertainment industry, that low drama comes as no surprise. Each section name is worse than the last: "Eliminating the Financial Incentive to Steal Intellectual Property Online" (Sec. 4) gives way to "Voluntary action for Taking Action Against Websites Stealing American Intellectual Property". more»

In DHS Takedown Frenzy, Mozilla Refuses to Delete MafiaaFire Add-On

Not satisfied with seizing domain names, the Department of Homeland Security asked Mozilla to take down the MafiaaFire add-on for Firefox. Mozilla, through its legal counsel Harvey Anderson, refused. Mozilla deserves thanks and credit for a principled stand for its users' rights. more»

European Commissioner Asks for Further Delay on .XXX

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes asked the US Department of Commerce to delay the introduction of the .xxx top-level domain after ICANN approved it, I can reveal. In an April 6 letter to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, a copy of which I have obtained, Kroes expressed dismay with ICANN's decision, and wrote..." more»

China Sets Up Internet Oversight Body, Has Authority to Investigate and Punish

Caixin reports that the State Council, China's cabinet, has set up an office to regulate internet activity, according to an announcement released on May 4 via an official website. The new department, called the State Internet Information Office, will supervise online content management and process approvals of businesses involved in online news reporting, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua. The new agency is reported to have the authority to investigate and punish online content-providers if necessary. more»

Governments Increasingly Trying to Control the Internet, Warns New U.S. Report

The U.S. Sate Department annual human rights report released on Friday has expressed concerns over the increasing trend among governments spending more time, money and attention in efforts to control their citizens access to the Internet and other communication means. To aid people seeking to speak out, the U.S. government is helping to finance circumvention technologies to avoid firewalls, reports the Associated Press. "To deal with governments hacking computers or intimidating dissenters, the U.S. government has trained 5,000 people from around the world on how to leave less of a trace on the Internet." more»

Google: China Interfering with Gmail and Attempting to Conceal the Act

Thomas Claburn reporting in InformationWeek: "In a move that could further dampen its business prospects in China, Google is accusing Chinese authorities of interfering with its Gmail service and attempting to conceal that interference. Google says that Gmail users in China have been reporting difficulties using Gmail and that it has checked its systems and found no problems. ...'This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail,' says Google." more»

COICA and Secure DNS

As a strong proponent of the private right of action for all Internet endpoints and users, I've long been aware of the costs in complexity and chaos of any kind of "blocking" that deliberately keeps something from working. I saw this as a founder at MAPS back in 1997 or so when we created the first RBL to put some distributed controls in place to prevent the transmission of unwanted e-mail from low reputation Internet addresses. What we saw was that in addition to the expected costs (to spammers) and benefits (to victims) of this new technology there were unintended costs to system and network operators whose diagnostic and repair work for problems related to e-mail delivery was made more complex because of the new consideration for every trouble ticket: "was this e-mail message blocked or on purpose?" more»

Google to Let Users Block Sites Based on Domain Names

In pursuit of its efforts to improve Google search results, the company on Thursday announced the release of a new feature that enables users to block specific search results based on domain names. more»