Censorship

Censorship / News Briefs

Kerry's Call for Internet Freedom Naive, Says China

China criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday for his "naive" call for more Internet freedom in the country, and wondered why his discussion with Chinese bloggers had not touched upon Edward Snowden. During an approximately 40-minute chat with bloggers in Beijing on Saturday, Kerry expressed his support for online freedom in China, as well as for human rights in general. more»

Google Launches 'Project Shield': Anti-DDoS Service to Protect Free Expression Online

Google today announced an initiative called "Project Shield", aimed at using its infrastructure to protect free expression online. "The service currently combines Google's DDoS mitigation technologies and Page Speed Service (PSS), which allow websites to serve their content through Google to be better protected from DDoS attacks." Google is currently seeking "trusted testers" and people with sites that serve media, elections and human rights-related content. more»

Google Discloses Rising Number of Government Requests

In the spirit of shining more light on how government actions could affect users, Google Inc. in early 2010, began periodically sharing number of government requests received in what it calls the "Transparency Report." more»

New Law in Russia Lets Authorities Take Down Certain Sites Without Trial

A law that aims to protect children from harmful internet content by allowing the government to take sites offline has taken effect in Russia. The authorities are now able to blacklist and force offline certain websites without a trial. The law was approved by both houses of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin in July. more»

Saudi Arabia Objects to Certain Proposed New gTLD Strings Such as .Gay and .Wine

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has objected to a number of proposed new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) including .porn, .sexy, .wine, .bar and .bible, according to records of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). "Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion. The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures," says Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission. more»

FCC Chief Criticizes Russia for Passing Internet Censorship Bill

Brendan Sasso reporting in the Hill: "Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), issued a statement late Wednesday slamming Russia for passing a bill that would allow the government to blacklist certain websites. He said the country had moved in a 'troubling and dangerous direction.' ... 'The world’s experience with the Internet provides a clear lesson: a free and open Internet promotes economic growth and freedom; restricting the free flow of information is bad for consumers, businesses, and societies,' he said. more»

WSJ on Leaked Documents, UN Internet Power Grab

The WCITLeaks site hit pay dirt this past Friday. Someone leaked the 212-page planning document being used by governments to prepare for the December conference. Mr. Dourado summarized: "These proposals show that many ITU member states want to use international agreements to regulate the Internet by crowding out bottom-up institutions, imposing charges for international communication, and controlling the content that consumers can access online." more»

Vint Cerf: Internet Freedom Under Threat from Governments Around the World

Internet freedom is under threat from governments around the world, including the United States, warned Vint Cerf on Monday. Andrew Feinberg reporting in the Hill: "Cerf, a computer scientist who was instrumental in the Internet's creation, now employed by Google as its 'Internet evangelist,' said officials in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are using intellectual property and cybersecurity issues 'as an excuse for constraining what we can and can't do on the 'net.' 'Political structures ... are often scared by the possibility that the general public might figure out that they don't want them in power,' he said." more»

UK ISPs Ordered to Block Pirate Bay

Britain's High Court - not the highest, but well up the ladder - has officially ordered Internet service providers to block Sweden-based file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. That means top British ISPs must shut off access to the site as soon as possible. ISPs Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have said they will, while a sixth, BT, has asked for a few weeks to mull over whether it will comply or not. The Pirate Bay hosts "torrent" files that let users connect with each other to download or share information -- in principle, a legitimate activity. more»

Iran Blocks HTTPS, 30 Million Reported Losing Email Access

Iran is reported to have started blocking access to websites that use HTTPS and as a result making popular and secure online services as well as online banking sites inaccessible. An Iranian news agency reports that over 30 million people in the country have lost access to foreign email services such as Gmail, Yahoo mail and Hotmail. Anything based outside the country that uses a secure connection via HTTPS is blocked, according to news reports and a thread on Hacker News. Secure sites based within Iran are reportedly still accessible. The shutdown is said to be timed to coincide with the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, and is believed to be temporary. more»

Protests Erupt Over EU's Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

In a blog post today, Michael Geist writes: "The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia). This has generated a flurry of furious protest..." more»

Exporting SOPA-Like Rules to Other Countries

"While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries," says Michael Geist in a blog post today. Geist writes: "With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, a close review of the unpublished submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee reveals that several groups have laid the groundwork to add SOPA-like rules into Bill C-11 ..." more»

Websites Go Dark Protesting SOPA and PIPA, Senators Change Course

Internet protests on Wednesday quickly cut into Congressional support for anti-Web piracy measures as lawmakers abandoned and rethought their backing for legislation that pitted new media interests against some of the most powerful old-line commercial interests in Washington. Freshman Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, was first out of the starting gate Wednesday morning with his announcement that he would no longer back anti-Internet piracy legislation... more»

White House on SOPA: Protecting Intellectual Property Must Not Threaten Open, Innovative Internet

The White House today released a response to SOPA and PIPA petitions and the legislative approaches to combat online piracy. The response is prepared by Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff. more»

Protect IP Act to Be Amended in Response to Pressure from Technical Community

The controversial copyright enforcement bill the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, may be amended on the Senate floor later this month in response to ongoing concerns about its provisions affecting ISPs and the domain-name system, the bill's chief sponsor said. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chief sponsor of the Protect IP Act said Thursday he plans to offer an amendment that would require a study of the impact of the ISP provisions in the bill before they are implemented. more»