Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tomorrow is the official opening of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad, India. It is the third in a series of five forums that came as a result of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) declaration in 2005. The Forum was envisioned as a "talk-shop" where stakeholders could get together every year to discuss and advance the key items related to Internet governance , with a developing country focus agenda.
Of all the WSIS follow-up events, it has proved the most popular - attracting some 1000+ delegates at each meeting. This year's event also likely will attract 1000+ individuals . This despite the recent attack in Mumbai that scared off some 10-20% of international delegates.
While other sessions of interest are taking place tomorrow morning, I will focus my attention not on ICANN's At-Large session on policy development but instead on one that affects users directly - that of threats to freedom of expression online. What is this you ask - A key emerging issue of Interest to the Internet Freedom program are efforts trying to limit expression online under the sensitive topics of "online safety" and "Child protection online". At this year's IGF there will be more then 6 sessions focused on this topic, while only one session will focus on promoting freedom of expression.
As such, my focus tomorrow will be attending the sessions below with the aim to understand which organizations are involved, what support (if any) has been expressed by governments and the mechanisms in place to ensure that adequate oversight and human rights protections exist.
Wed Dec 3
- 9:00 - 10:30 Best Practice Forum 89: Online Child Protection
- 11:00 - 12:30
- Workshop 36: Strategies to prevent and flight child pornography in Developing countries
- Workshop 37: The Internet goes mobile - Child protection in the always connected age
Monday, December 1, 2008
I am uploading short video interviews of IGF participants. The participants are asked a standard set of questions:
- Leading issues that will be discussed and/or raised at IGF Hyderabad
- Comments to internet users who can not attend the IGF
The videos are streamed live, and then archived. The comment feature is enabled - and as such, ask members of this list to comment on interviews and/or post ideas on additional questions that should be asked.
Some 10 interviews are now online. My aim, if possible is to interview at least 100 participants.
Video archive is available @ http://bambuser.com/node/53968
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Venue B, session B0, 11:00am-12:00pm, Saturday, November 15
Slide 1. Do you know who's in charge of you online?
Slide 2. 'Who watches over the watchers?'*
Slide 3. Wikipedia blurb on ICANN
Slide 4. More on ICANN
-it's a wealthy organisation
-around 105 staff
-the phases in which different gTLDs were unleashed
-: Should we be thinking about the ones yet to come?
Slide 5. What is CNNIC and what do they do?
Slide 6. ICANN vs. CNNIC
-: sex...religion...should regional concerns about "moral order" be ICANN's concern?
-: who is suited to define "moral order" anyway?
-Charles Mok on Hong Kong's Obscene Articles Tribunal
-original intent of internet by those who built it
-keeping internet structure neutral and depoliticized
-: who determines how neutral Net Neutrality should be?
-: what restrictions do netizens currently face for the purchase of:
-how many of the relevant restrictions can you list? who creates those?
Slide 8. .cn vs .中国
-applicable policies for the registration of .cn domains
-: who will draft the equivalent policies for registration of .中国 domains?
-: why are individual netizens at present unable to buy '.中文' domains?
-: is there a monopoly when it comes to registering domains in China?
-: who monitors groups like ICANN as the draft and pass policies related to domain name registration?
-: before CNNIC goes and makes '.中文' domains publicly purchasable, should we be watching as the respective regulations are drafted?
Slide 10. How is it that nobody has yet purchased 做爱网.com?
Slide 11. .XXX
-the American porn industry tried to buy it
-spent 25,000,000 USD in the process
-religious conservatives mobilized and got the Bush administration to lobby against it being sold
-went to ballot at ICANN in 1997 and the porn community lost by two votes.
Slide 12. .GAY
-in 2000 LGBTQ groups applied to buy .gay
-religious conservatives mobilized to fight it and ICANN in the end refused to sell it
Slide 13. .基
-more inclusive participation in these sorts of proceedings is extremely important for, again: who watches the watchers?
-: what if an LGBTQ group in GD province wanted to buy up .基 and Chinese Christians came out against it?
-: who will take care of these kinds of disputes in the future and what sort of procedure will they follow?
Slide 14: .ABC
-: should the American Broadcasting Company get it? Or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation?
Slide 15: decisions like this will be a lot more complicated if Chinese characters are involved
Slide 16: Do we even need more TLDs?
Slide 17: Yes.
-ICANN CEO Paul Twomey says so
-the internet needs to be sustained by further opportunities to create wealth, lest it fall back on government funding
Slide 18. Internet Society
Slide 19. What is ISOC and what does it do?
-once had exchange program with China
-no ISOC in China, only the knock-off, Internet Society of China (ISC)
Slide 20. What is ISC?
Slide 21. What is ISC? (cont'd.)
Slide 22. Judging from events in recent years, could the ISC really be said to have "promoted the healthy expansion of the internet in China"?
-when websites and blogs can disappear without any warning, will the ISC stand up for us and say No to people like the State Information Office and the Central Propaganda Dept.?
-why can't Chinese netizens then take part in an organisation such as ISOC?
Slide 23. Good news
-the three most influential people when it comes to the structure and policies of the internet and domain name registration in China are all women
-Yan Baoping (CNNIC)
-Hu Qiheng (ISC)
-Xue Hong (ALAC/ICANN)
Slide 24. Bad news
-ISC is not offically recognised by ISOC and ISOC has no Chinese staff
-so why can't Chinese netizens go and act as advisors or representatives of China?
Slide 25. Because if you read the fine print, no foreign organisations are allowed to expand inside China
-is that cool?
Slide 26. The result?
-Not a single ISOC chapter in China
Slide 27. Which is too bad because the things ISOC members can do are quite interesting:
-support development of standards and protocols
-promote public policy/make your voice heard
-make a difference with education and training
-directly support the programs you choose
Slide 28. However...
-there is someone from China on ISOC's Board of Trustees, that being CNNIC's Yan Baoping mentioned above
Slide 29. What you could ostensibly do:
-apply to be a member of ISOC is free (and applying as an individual is okay)
-get together with people of similar interest to set up an ISOC (note: not ISC) chapter; although quite easy, in theory it's not allowed
-get together with people in your [province/city/town] to set up an ISOC chapter
-chapters must be volunteer initiatives
Slide 30. ISOC's main focus is on raising awareness of internet governance issues and has ample resources to that effect
Slide 31. Chairwoman of ISC is Hu Qiheng (even though not officially recognized overseas, domestically it is however the boss)
Slide 32. Does ISC fulfill its duties?
-it's at least semi-transparent
-only those approved by the government may become members
Slide 33. So just what does China's ISC do?
-Voluntary Self-Discipline Pact
Slide 34. ICANN also has channels for participation such as the At-Large Committee (which Xue Hong is on)
-application is free and can be done via e-mail
Slide 35. [cont'd]
-however, the application form doesn't come in Chinese
-perhaps something for future volunteers to do
-in comparison, the only membership list to be found on the ISC website are those willingly taking part in the Self-Discipline Pact
Slide 36. Being a responsible netizen should not be called "self-discipline"
-for further comparison, dot.Asia (like CNNIC, a domain registry, except for greater Asia) not only welcomes members, but gives them voting privileges
Slide 37. Why is participation in international organizations such as ISOC and ICANN so important?
-ICANN is preparing to launch internationalized (non-English) domain names next year
-if they mess that up, some non-English countries could go rogue and split from ICANN, changing the internet as we now know it
-the feedback period for ICANN's "fast-track" policy on approving internationalized (non-English) domains ended last month
Slide 38. Who pays attention to these issues?
Slide 39. The Global Network Initiative
Slide 40. Disclaimer
Slide 41. Future opportunities for involvement
-Internet Governance Forum 2008 is in India, December 2008
-information in six languages and several interactive channels will be provided
-contact me if you have any questions
Slide 42. ICANN 2009 will be in Mexico
Slide 43. Related articles
Slide 44. Most important:
-being a netizen is not just about Facebook, blogs and QQ
-the way the internet is structured is that it is we netizens who create it
-needs to stay that way
Still being compiled, however, is a list of feedback provided from the larger community that attended the conference. Tentatively, that includes:
-the conference wifi was more of a loogie than an actual bubble;
-seemingly random rotation of emcees gave an air of disorganization;
-the audience at times got disorderly and out of control, especially that noisy bunch seated at the back as well as the presence of certain special guests which led to a spontaneously-organized not-so-covert counter-stakeout mission;
-noise from Venue A totally pwned people trying to speak in Venue B as the two were semi-connected;
-an unforgiving concrete floor was no good for those who don't like sitting on top of chairs;
-due to it not being announced or, along with all Venue B round-table discussions, even mentioned on the official program handout, the single by far most captivating session, the first at Venue B on the morning of the first day of the conference, went completely unattended!**
-no 'thank you' to attendees and sponsors at closing for making the entire event possible
Actually, judging strictly from the number of times it has been reposted and commented upon, we're probably looking at Yang Hengjun's conference-closing talk, 'We Chinese: Look, the Future!' as one of the most memorable, in which Yang touched on a number of topics: Obama, the importance of mothers, morality and recent internet hot topics and, mentioning Martin Luther King, Jr., the dreams we all share for the future: "Yes, we can!"
Liveblogging in English was done this year by the team at CN Reviews who managed to cover all the major bases.
There's that character we love to love elliott ng photo
"life is something like making a good meal, we need time to let it mature to make it taste really good."
The laws in Egypt say that it can be considered treason even if you are telling the truth. Wael gets hidden camera videos of police brutality. And government corruption. A popular one is of a government person stuffing a ballot box during an election. He has millions of people who see these clips on YouTube of government corruption and policy brutality. One day YouTube mysteriously took them all down. And then when bloggers started to complain about it and NYT learned from the bloggers what had happened, they mysteriously reappeared.
...and then (as the conference's opening keynote) there was Anti:
Since 2000, especially on the Web, there has been tremendous media liberalization in China. There is indeed hope for the Chinese blogosphere. A key question is: will blogs have professionalism or not? Blogs could be considered as part of a free extension to the media.
Pluralism and sensible discussion is crucial...If we cannot express ourselves, and we still want to do a citizen society… something must give.
Must it! But what first...that general malaise? It's a long uphill battle of words for those on the 'change we can believe in' side of things, and those on the illiberal side have the advantage of their most worthy of opponents blipping silently off the network, or being sent to prison and ending up apprentice welders. The post-conference party (that was actually postponed a night because police called the venue and told them: desist) was peppered with shouts of 'Yes, we can!' and @zuola took his shirt off and jumped up on the table and did a bunch of push-ups, raising RMB 500 for 1kg.org in the process. Last year, Daxa got hammered and passed out; this year/that night, he says, he was only just, "tired". Beifeng kept organizing big-ass blogger feasts. TheCarol the Taiwan Twitter Queen brought her tweeps and held a Punch Party that everyone who went said made the whole weekend a blast. The Hong Kong delegation of twenty-something came with their own custom-made t-shirts and flooded Flickr with well-posed photos. Anti made his cnbloggercon debut and kept getting interviewed the whole way through. He Caitou and I had a nice, friendly chat. Even the police spy who stood out like a sore thumb started clapping at one point!
Getting a little excited here...
2006 was too business-y; last year was too PR-heavy; what some will most likely say about this year's event was that it was too unharmonious (actually, people were already Fanfouing that first thing in the morning on Day 1—it was held in Guangzhou, what else did you expect?). I think most people will stand by the line-up; in fact, one point that's already been made is that two obvious omissions this year were a) citizen journalism & grassroots media and b) bridgeblogging (yah!). Can't please everyone, and if you did they'd probably call you stale and move on. Given what little I contributed to organizing this over the past six months or so, I've been quite lucky to be a part of it, working with passionate, professional and very smart people who hold as a core value in approaching cnbloggercon that it's something that by definition has to keep updating itself in order to make any sense to others, managing to do so while upholding '2.0' in practice to every extent possible.
One last thing, some firsts in Guangzhou Bloggercon: an open-air venue, (mostly) simultaneous sessions, Zuola t-shirts, semi-virtual mingling space and something else just a wee bit innovative that should be ready by mid- to late January.
LIU XIAOYUAN HAS A SERIES OF BLOG POSTS WHICH ARE EXTREMELY HARMFUL TO CHINA!
Liu Xiaoyuan has a series of blog posts which are extremely harmful to China! I read through almost all of this person's posts and the comments on them, and I can see that this blog has become a platform for anti-government types to spew their discontent!
These dangerous elements and their speech must be strictly curbed!
Following the powerful calls from Our Just People, Sohu.com has screened all 20 Yang Jia blog posts that Liu Xiaoyuan has written since October 15 (not including the ones written prior to Oct. 15), and Sina.com has also deleted four posts from Liu Xiaoyuan's blog. This is not enough; all the extremists who have left anti-government comments ought to be put on the blacklist, and all of Liu Xiaoyuan's blogs ought to be forcefully closed and the National Security Bureau and other departments should begin investigating him!
As for those who have posting anti-government comments, we must not let them find work in government offices or large scale SOEs; websites have the obligation to collect their IP addresses and turn them over to the Public Security Bureau and prosecution agencies so their illicit behavior can go on record.
In today's world, the relevant departments must remember that at this very moment there are those Western anti-China forces eyeing us like tigers; we must not allow for a re-enactment of the peaceful transitions that took place in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to happen here in China. Today's public security organs truly are weak, and the calls from Liu Xiaoyuan and other netizens are a bald-faced provocation to the sanctity of Our Country's laws and Socialist System which must be resolutely struck down!
I feel that at present, terrorism, anarchy and the flood of bourgeois liberal thought are the three biggest threats our nation faces. Socialist and Patriotic education needs to be launched and carried out nationwide, as well as more emphasis on advanced persons and more emphasis on a spirit of dedication.
Both hands must remain hard in the emphasizing of Good and the striking down of Bad People.
Given the trials and tribulations the Chinese Nation has endured, it has not been easy to reach the current early stages of prosperity, and in order to surpass Imperialist America by the middle of the 21st Century, we must all shoulder heavy burdens. We must not see the Great Wall destroyed by our hands by letting ourselves come undone! As for all speech and behavior that denigrates our Nation and Government, we must strike hard and show no mercy! Only thus will we protect the interests of The Common People the Nation to the utmost.
The fourth annual Chinese Blogger Conference was held in the Southern Chinese city of Guangzhou earlier this month. Speakers ranged from well-known Chinese journalist Michael Anti to American EFF lawyer and blogger Wendy Seltzer and included special guests such as Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.
Topics discussed included: tips on accessing the internet without restriction, Wikipedia, Creative Commons in art and business, the internet and Chinese civil society, and blueprints for the future of education. Even Egyptian activist blogger Wael Abbas was mentioned at one point. It is a good sign that such an event can be held in China today, and encouraging to see that a similar event is already being planned for next year
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The Internet Freedom Alert is a publication of Freedom House's Global Internet Program, that covers online developments related to censorship, Internet Governance and freedoms online. Issue 1.19 covers developments from Oct 16 - Nov 22, 2008. Links, Events and articles mentioned are summarized weekly from the Internet Freedom Bookmarks site - that can be accessed @ http://del.icio.us/internetfreedom
Request for contributions
The newsletter would like to include your comments, articles and specific cases that could be of interest to the larger community involved in Internet Freedom and Internet Governance. Send contributions to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you wish to publish anonymously or send us a message via a secure communications tool - please let us know - and we'll be happy to make the appropriate arrangements.
Egyptian Bloggers Reveal Hardships in Video at ICANN
Freedom House released a video examining the challenges that Egyptian bloggers face at a conference on internet governance held in Cairo, Egypt November 2-7. In the film, Egyptian bloggers speak of overcoming torture, political intimidation and censure as they push against government restrictions on freedom of expression. The video aired at the 33rd International Public Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the international body that coordinates Internet domain names and addresses.
New Internet Freedom Study Out in 2009
With internet freedom increasingly under fire, Freedom House unveiled plans to publish a new pilot study in early 2009 that will rank key countries according to the online rights of their citizens. Freedom House Senior Researcher Karin Karlekar explained the approach and methodology behind the Index of Global Internet Freedom at a seminar covering digital media in repressive regimes held in Copenhagen, Denmark November 10-11.
-- BREAKING NEWS --
Well-known Chinese citizen reporter and blogger Zhou “Zuola” Shuguang was refused exit out of the China today when he tried to go to Hong Kong yesterday morning. He has a passport and his tickets were paid for, so he's probably on a blacklist. He was going to go to Germany to be a judge for this year's Best of the Blogs competition. Translations at @freezuola since his encounters with police seem to be an ongoing occurrence
As Salon notes in "Skype sells out to China," the eBay-owned service has collaborated with a Chinese company to enable spying on the allegedly encrypted messages that Skype users send each other to and from, and within, China. This disgusting sellout should surprise no one. Skype and its corporate parent, eBay, have been evasive about whether the product is truly secure. There's ample reason ” including this admission attributed to an Austrian law-enforcement agency ” to suspect that the company has created backdoors for police.
Attackers bent on shutting down large Web sites ” even the operators that run the backbone of the Internet ” are arming themselves with what are effectively vast digital fire hoses capable of overwhelming the world's largest networks, according to a new report on online security
Good editorial in the Boston Globe today about "The Dangers of Internet Censorship" by Harry Lewis, a professor of computer science at Harvard and fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Many countries censor and filter certain websites to prevent their citizens from viewing online information. Websites can be blocked both by their name and by the IP address of the web server on which the site resides. Some countries and corporations have also begun blocking certain keywords, either in the user's search request or in the content of a web page. However, it is possible to circumvent these blocks by going through intermediary computers, often called proxy servers, and by using anonymity networks like TOR.This is the sixth article in a CSW Monthly Bulletin series highlighting practical ways you can increase your digital security and privacy.
Social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr have become invaluable mobilization tools for activists in the Arab world. In April, a group of young activists mobilized thousands of demonstrators on Facebook for a strike in Egypt. But authorities have stepped up regulation of these Internet tools leading some activists to reconsider how new media tools may actually hinder the work of activists in the field
A broad coalition of leading information and communications companies, human rights groups, academics, investors and technology leaders on Tuesday launched its long-awaited effort to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy on the Internet.
Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have signed a global code of conduct promising to offer better protection for online free speech and against official intrusion. The Global Network Initiative follows criticism that companies were assisting governments in countries like China to censor the Internet.
Arabawy was one of the people who used to promote Flickr in the Egyptian blogsphere. His account in Flickr is like a photographical archive for the political activism movement in Egypt also in Palestine and the labour movement in the world but it seems to the Flickr moderators and administrators he should not have used to Flickr for this
Latin America & Caribbean
In response to court orders, Yahoo and Google are censoring search results in Argentina about a variety of celebrities, including public officials, models, actors, and sports stars. According to an in depth article on OpenNet Initiative, this has been going on since 2006 and more than 100 people have succeeded in getting Google and Yahoo to filter search results in Argentina.
If youâ're in Argentina and looking for news on the internet about Diego Maradona, you may soon be out of luck. Due to lawsuits, the Argentinian google may be forced to block any links about Maradona (among 110 other people) that donâ't go to major news sites.
Since 2006, Internet users in Argentina have been blocked from searching for information about some of country's most notable individuals. Over 100 people have successfully secured temporary restraining orders that direct Google and Yahoo! Argentina to scrub the results of search queries. The list of censorship-seeking celebrities includes judges, public officials, models and actors, as well as the world-cup soccer star and national team head coach Diego Maradona. Both Yahoo! and Google have implemented the court-order mandated filtering, although only Yahoo! has implemented complete blocking of all results for specific names. Both search engines have appealed the numerous restraining orders, and in a few cases, the firms have been fined for not sufficiently complying with some of the courts' censorship demands
London based Brazilian filmmaker Daniel FlorÃªncio had a surprise on September 22, when his film Gagged in Brazil was taken off the Current TV networks. The documentary, œan investigation into the seemingly increasingly curtailed press in Brazil, depicts freedom of press and the relationship between media and politics, looking closely at the involvement of the powerful governor of the second most populous and fourth largest by area in the federation, Minas Gerais
Castro's regime is worried that tourists might photograph something they shouldn't and send it back home before the regime had the chance to censor it.
An overwhelming majority of Finns, age 55 to 64 are more receptive to the idea of restrictions on Internet free speech than are younger Finns. three out of four in the older group accept some form of restrictions on free speech. Younger men and women are against such restrictions. Most probably, incidents such as the shootings in a Finnish school have made older people aware how the Internet can serve as a means of communication for young people and make them aware of various forms of violence. Many would accept the concept of preventive censorship to prevent certain ideas being presented on the Internet.
Chinese dissidents living in Germany wrote an open letter to Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag, on September 13. They complained about Germany's international radio station Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) and its China coverage
The Dutch Senate is holding its expert meeting on data retention on 11 November 2008. It also received the answers of the government to its questions relating to the legislative proposal implementing the data retention directive
List of websites blocked by Turkish Telekom
The country's courts and governments have banned 850 websites this year, including YouTube and Blogger.
In another long string of website services blocked in the Republic of Turkey, yet another blog service has been blocked: Blogspot.com. A court in Diyarbakir Turkey has banned Blogger/Blogspot.com in relation to an intellectual property infringement case
Britain's security agencies and police would be given unprecedented and legally binding powers to ban the media from reporting matters of national security, under proposals being discussed in Whitehall.
Any civilized person will be left aghast by reports to the effect that the Malawi Government will soon be using private investors like Internet Service Providers to control what Malawians and other visiting nationals will be viewing on the internet.
The US-based Nigerian blogger, Jonathan Elendu, who blogs at Elendu Reports, is being held without charge, since Saturday October 18th, by the State Security Service (SSS). Elendu was arrested upon arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, from the United States. He is now being investigated for œacts of sedition.
Nigerian-born US-based blogger Jonathan Elendu was detained by Nigeria's State Security Service (SSS) and held incommunicado for eleven days before being released without charge. Now comes news that SSS have arrested another US-based Nigerian blogger Emmanuel Emeka Asiwe, who runs HuHuOnline. Mr Asiwe is still in custody and has been held without charge for nine days.
Reporters Without Borders today condemned the arrest of online journalist Emmanuel Emeka Asiwe, a US national, at the Muritala Muhammed international airport on his arrival from the United States on 28 October to visit his sick mother and attend to family matters.
Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) on Sunday cried out over continued detention of the United States-based online journalist, Jonathan Elendu, by Nigeria's security agencies. It also expressed serious concern over the reported deteriorating condition of health of the journalist. Elendu has been held in solitary confinement by the State Security Service (SSS) for over nine days and without charge
U.S.-based Nigerian blogger and journalist Jonathan Elendu of Elendu Reports was arrested by the Nigerian State Security Services (SSS) upon his arrival at Abuja airport. It was some days before the SSS announced that Elendu had been charged, first with money laundering and then sedition. Yet another report claimed he was charged with sponsoring a guerilla news agency. The charges relate to his supposed involvement with the online news site Sahara Reporters which, together with Elendu's blog, is highly critical of both Nigerian President Yar'Adua and the government in general; both sites particularly criticize the government's response to conflicts between foreign oil companies drilling in the Niger Delta and local ethnic minorities
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information watched with growing concern as the Sudanese government arrested dozens of journalists and columnists.
At least 60 journalists were arrested by Sudanese police while attending a peaceful protest demanding a new freedom of expression law this morning.
Via radio, text messaging and the web, Brilliant Pongo ensures precious information reaches his homeland
Looks like China won't be the only place with a Great Firewall in place”The Australian government is introducing its own censorship regime that will determine what is or isn't illegal for you to view on the web. The move is said to help stop teenagers from accessing online pornography, but even if you opt-out of the pr0n filter, you'll get put on a different blacklist for œillegal content.
Government unrepentant over a scheme to impose compulsory filters that civil liberties groups condemn
The Labor Party's "Plan for Cyber Safety" is much like the itsy bitsy spider trying to climb the water spout. It popped out on a sunny day five days prior to the Federal election, got washed away with the first drops of public criticism, and crawled back into its hole to regroup. Once the rain had cleared, it attempted the climb again. Right now, public outrage is raining pretty hard on the proposed policy
As opposition grows against the Government's controversial plan to censor the internet, the head of one of Australia's largest ISPs has labelled the Communications Minister the worst we've had in the past 15 years
This is a group that exists to organise protests and other campaigns against the proposed internet censorship scheme
A lobby group set up by internet auction house eBay and other online merchants in the US and Europe plans to open a chapter in Australia as the Federal Government is poised to reveal details of its contentious cyber safety plan
The Government is persisting with its plans to introduce compulsory internet censorship in Australia. It's bad policy. It's a waste of money, it won't work and there are better alternatives. Not to mention the threat to free speech. But let's be absolutely clear: If you think we will defeat internet filtering just by being right or just because the facts are on our side - think again. This is politics. If we don't get properly organised with a clear and consistent message that reaches the people who need to hear it - we WILL lose.
Ever since public computer networks burst onto the scene in the 1980's, the subject of online content regulation has been a controversial one. Successive governments of all stripes have considered the issue, and largely looked upon the free-ranging exchange of networked content with disapproval, if not outright disdain. Nearly 20 years ago the Senate Select Committee into Online Services produced a frightening raft of predictions about the societal decay that'd naturally extend from the public's exposure to material common in the BBS (Bulletin Board System) world, and various repetitions of the effort have drawn the same conclusions ever since. Unfortunately for the censorship advocates, our own experience tells us that all the predictions of doom, destruction and despair have been wrong.
Plans for ISP-level mandatory filtering have been widely condemned as unworkable and politically motivated, yet the government seems determined to put a choker hold on Australia's internet access.
The NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service has issued an E-Brief on Internet Censorship and Mandatory Filtering. Its authors Tom Edwards and Gareth Griffith survey the local and international position and conclude that mandatory ISP level filtering is not a feature of many of the countries it reviewed. In place, rather, are voluntary ISP filtering schemes designed to prevent accidental access to a defined list of illegal sites containing child pornography.
Burma's military government has turned to a 12-year-old law to justify its latest crackdown on dissidents, about 60 of whom have received lengthy prison sentences so far this week. On Monday, blogger Nay Phone Latt became one of the first to be punished under the 1996 Computer Science Development Law, receiving a prison sentence of twenty years and six months for violating the hitherto little-used law. The next day, the court handed similarly harsh sentences to 14 members of the 88 Generation Students Group, also accused of committing various offenses under the law.
The October issue of monthly satirical magazine Pyaw Pyaw Shwin Shwin has been postponed after the censor board rejected a quarter of its contents. The board arbitrarily cut poems and stories. Other magazines such as Kalyar, Cherry, Myanmar Thit and Mahaythi have been subject to similar measures.
Mizzima recently received a secret document detailing the Information Minister's discussion with other ministries regarding the censorship, control and distribution of information regarding government offices. The following are excerpts of a circular issued by the Information Minister to all ministries on the coordination of press censorship on governmental and departmental news.
A closed court in military-ruled Myanmar has sentenced at least 11 dissidents involved in last year's pro-democracy protests to 65 years each in prison, an opposition spokesman has said. The convictions came on Tuesday, a day after a prominent blogger was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for "creating public alarm and possessing banned video".
Burma's military rulers have launched a fresh crackdown on dissidents in the country, with more than a hundred activists being handed harsh sentences in the last few weeks. ˜It's a clear signal that the junta intends to eliminate and silence anyone who opposes their authority, especially in the lead-up to planned elections in two yearsâ' time,â' said Win Min, an independent Burmese academic based in Thailand.
A blogger, a poet, and a lawyer from Burma (Myanmar) all received prison sentences for a poem that contained a hidden message criticizing Burmese dictator Senior General Than Shwe.
Reporters Without Borders and the Burma Media Association call for the immediate release of well-known former journalist Ohn Kyaing, who was arrested at his home yesterday. A member of the National League for Democracy, the main opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, he was freed in 2005 after spending 15 years in prison for writing œseditious pamphlets.
A Burmese blogger has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for posting a cartoon of the military leader Than Shwe.
Nay Phone Latt, a pro-democracy blogger in Burma has been given a 20-year prison sentence for materials posted on his website criticising military leader Than Shwe. He was arrested in January, along with poet Saw Wai, who was sentenced to 2 years for a hidden anti-Than Shwe message in one of his poems.
A year after thousands of monks took to the streets of Burma's towns and cities to protest against the tyrannical rule of the Military Junta were broadcast across the world via the internet, the Junta has shown that it will not tolerate any semblance of critical opinion being voiced over the World Wide Web. Judge Daw Soe recently sentenced Nay Phone Latt to a total of twenty years and six months for possession of a banned video
Quick intros to five Chinese microblogging services, including Taotao, Jiwaide, Fanfou, Zuosa, and Douban Broadcast. Check out China's answers to Twitter
Reporters Without Borders condemns today's arrest of blogger Guo Quan at his home in Nanjing (æ±Ÿè‹çœå—äº¬å¸‚), the capital of the central province of Jiangsu, for posting blog entries deemed to be œtoo radical. He is currently being held in a Nanjing police station on a charge of œinciting subversion of state authority. The police took his computer when they arrested him.
Hu Jia, a soft-spoken, bespectacled advocate for democracy and human rights in China, was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Europe's most prestigious human rights prize
Chinese Blogger Conference 2008 was held on Nov. 15-16 in Guangzhou. Cnbloggercon (@cnbloggercon) marks the latest trend and development of Web 2.0 in China, in the sense that blogging/bloggers is a symbol of Web 2.0 and the way it is held (non-centralized self-organization) is also a real-world parallel of Web 2.0 way of socializing
The following is a translation of what is purported to be an Xinhua news agency internal list of banned terms for its editorial departments, domestic and international bureaus. There is no guarantee that this is authentic.
According to recent research by Rebecca McKinnon of Global Voices, the Chinese regime spends a ridiculous amount of time filtering and censoring the Internet“and relies on blog service providers to do a lot of the heavy lifting for them. Rebecca shared results from her research (soon to be released) on filtering in China at a conference put together by Berkman friends Caroline Nellemann and Ole Bruun of Roskilde University in Denmark, and hosted by the Danish Institute of Human Rights.
he internet cannot be stopped by filtering and other censorship tools. That messages has been told over the past few months repeatedly, like here and here. But Reuters got now also a confirmation from the propaganda authorities that they have changed their policies from trying to block unfavorable news into managing the process.
The dam is leaking all over the place, is one of the conclusions Roland Soong of ESWN draws in his story about the past five years of the internet in China. Soong was supposed to give the speech last weekend at the 2008 Chinese blogger conference in Guangzhou, did not make it, but posted his thoughtful overview on his weblog. ESWN has been one of the first "bridge-bloggers" as they are being called, bloggers who tried to translate what they considered crucial issues on the internet in China into English. ESWN has been rather instrumental but has also been hit by the tidal wave of online debate now close to 300 million Chinese internet users have entered the scene.
The Chinese news media's increased reporting of protests over land, labor and investment issues reflects an attempt by the government to manage the impact of bad news by acknowledging it, according to two people familiar with the decision-making process. "The Chinese government has started to loosen its control on the negative information," said one of the people, an academic close to the propaganda authorities who declined to be identified. "They are trying to control the news by publicizing the news."
Disgruntled taxi drivers in Chongqing air their complaints following a two-day strike while a top official of the southwestern Chinese city nods intently.
China's propaganda officials are experimenting with a revolutionary new policy to manage their message in the age of the internet: reporting the news as it happens. The move marks an important shift for the ruling Communist Party, which is accustomed to deciding what will be reported and when.
State news agency Xinhua said the temporary arrangement for the games, due to expire on Friday, would become standard practice. It means journalists can continue to conduct interviews without applying to the authorities for permission
China agreed on Thursday to loosen restrictions on foreign news and information providers inside the country, settling a trade dispute with the United States, the European Union and Canada.
ALL visitors to internet cafÃ©s in Beijing will be required to have their photographs taken in a stringent new control on the public use of cyberspace.
A group of Canadian human-rights activists and computer security researchers has discovered a huge surveillance system in China that monitors and archives certain Internet text conversations that include politically charged words. Skip to next paragraph The New York Times The system tracks text messages sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay, the Web auctioneer that owns Skype, an online phone and text messaging service.
By the beginning of 2009, Internet cafes in Beijing, China will take a photo of every person who passes through the doors, then enter the picture and the person's identifying information into a city-wide government database. The measures are part of China's overall plan to monitor the use of Internet cafes to ensure inappropriate material isn't reaching children and, of course, to make Internet use a little less anonymous.
he Beijing government has implemented new regulations requiring all first-time visitors to any of the city's more than 1,500 internet bars to have their pictures taken and their ID cards scanned on site, according to a report by The Beijing News earlier this week. The regulations require that all internet bars be installed with registration terminals by the end of this year.
China is not new to censoring the Internet, but up until now, BitTorrent sites have never been blocked. Recently however, several reports came in from China, indicating that popular BitTorrent sites such as Mininova, isoHunt and The Pirate Bay had been hijacked. The sites became inaccessible, instead redirecting to the leading Chinese search engine Baidu
Online comments registered disappointment after the Nobel Prize for peace was awarded to Finland's ex-president, as the wife of jailed AIDS activist and Nobel nominee Hu Jia reported tighter security.
Chen Daojun (陈道军), a relatively obscure activist (or provocateur depending on one’s point of view) in China, was sentenced to three years in prison for “inciting subversion of state authority” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) yesterday. Thus the Chinese government, quite rightfully described as clumsy and self-defeating in presenting itself, just launched someone into a career of fame and awards. Who wants to bet on the recipient of next year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought?
While Chen was arrested in May after attending a environmentalist protest against a petroleum-chemical project near Chengdu, his trouble seems centered on writings he published online. Chen was initially charged with a more serious “inciting secession” clause due to his writing in April supporting the murderous March 14 riot in Tibet, which targeted innocent non-Tibetan civilians and business. That charge was apparently dropped in the court proceedings. This essay, ”官逼民反 — 向英勇抗争的藏民致敬” (Government Drives People to Revolt - Salute to the Heroic Fighting Tibetans) doesn’t really need translation beyond the title.
Indonesia's parliament passed a bill banning pornography Thursday, ignoring opposition from lawmakers and rights groups who worry it will be used to justify attacks on artistic, religious and cultural freedom. More than 100 legislators stormed out ahead of the vote saying that ” while the bill's final version removed contentious clauses regulating dress and social behavior ” it went against the country's tradition of diversity.
The Indonesian government says it has called on a blogging website to take down two cartoons which depict Muslim Prophet Muhammad in sexual situations.
Korea - North
North Korea is clamping down on mobile phones and long distance telephone calls to prevent the spread of news about a worsening food crisis, according to the United Nations investigator on human rights for the isolated communist country."
Public opposition is steadily building up against Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), a relic of colonialism that gives police unchallenged discretion to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone without trial. Multi-ethnic Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world that has such a law and the reason given for its continuance is maintenance of inter-ethnic peace ” an argument that has lately become untenable. While many ordinary Malaysians agree and support the ISA, the arrest of a prominent blogger, a journalist and an opposition lawmaker under its provisions, last month, appears to have jolted the public.
Malaysian authorities today freed a blogger who edits an anti-government news website, after a court ruled his arrest under a law allowing indefinite detention was illegal. Raja Petra Kamaruddin's arrest in September for allegedly causing ethnic tensions sparked condemnation from the opposition and rights groups. Today a high court judge ruled that Malaysia's home minister acted outside his powers in using the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain him
Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been released from jail after a court ruled that the interior minister, Syed Hamid Albar, had overstepped his authority in ordering the detention of Kamaruddin under the country's notorious Internal Security Act.
aja Petra Kamarudin knows he could soon go back to jail. The country's leading blogger was released by order of the Shah Alam High Court last week, after being held in detention since Sept 12, but his troubles are far from over and his freedom could be shortlived. "The decision to free me was a good sign of a new-found strength by the judiciary. But it is only a sign," said the blogger, who was arrested under the Internal Security Act. The ISA is an inheritance from the British, who used it in the colony prior to independence in 1957. In essence, it allows for the arrest and internment of any person without the need for a trial in certain defined circumstances. Raja Petra's alleged crimes were linked to his writing.
The Information and Communications Technology Ministry is to introduce an internet gateway system to block websites containing lese majeste content. ICT Minister Mun Patanotai will also hold a meeting with webmasters today to discuss measures to suppress lese majeste material. The gateway system, which could cost between 100 and 500 million baht, could also be used to block other websites considered inappropriate, such as those of terrorist groups or selling pornography. However, the ministry will focus first on websites with content deemed insulting to the Thai monarchy, Mr Mun said.
Vietnam jailed a reporter for two years Wednesday for his coverage of state corruption in a court case that has sent a chill through the communist country's media industry. The Hanoi court also imprisoned for one year a senior police officer who had provided information on the graft scandal to the media, but it allowed a police general and a second journalist to walk free. The jailed reporter, Nguyen Viet Chien, almost three years ago helped pry open the graft case, which centred on a transport ministry unit whose officials had squandered foreign aid on gambling and high living.
Communist authorities in Vietnam have arrested several democracy activists in the middle of the night and placed many others under house arrest. These actions come amidst the sentencing of a prominent blogger and appearances of large banners in urban areas calling for multi-party democracy and leaflets protesting the government's territorial concessions to China.
Middle East & North Africa
The mother and two sisters of the Egyptian blogger and Internet writer Reda Abdul Rahman were threaten to be killed, when they tried to ask state security agents about the whereabouts of Abdul Rahman, who was kidnapped last month by State Security Investigation.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reported today that blogger Roshdi Algadir was arrested by the Hisba apparatus in Saudi Arabia on 4th November. He was taken from his place of work in Al-Dammam city, held for three hours, beaten up and forced to sign an agreement never again to publish his work on the internet. The reason behind the attack is the poem that Algadir has posted on his blog
Egyptian State Security Investigation officers took writer-blogger Reda Abdel Rahman into custody last month and have detained him at an undisclosed location.
David Wolman has an interesting article in the current WIRED magazine chronicling the rise of Ahmed Maher and other activists in Cairo trying to use Facebook to organize student protest. It describes all the cat-and-mouse intrigue and the government's effort to arrest the ringleaders, torture them into submission or steal their passwords.
Egyptian activist and blogger 3arabawy's account is threaten to be deleted. His account is the biggest and the only visual source of social contests in Egypt. More than 8000 pictures , masterpieces of social documentary, are going to vanish from Flickr if there is no collective support to his case.
In what's being described as the first criminal sentence for sexual harassment in Egypt, the Cairo Criminal Court yesterday sentenced Sherif Gabriel to three years in prison and an LE 501 fine for groping a woman's breast
A group of Egyptian bloggers who have been coming to the US throughout the past three months to cover the American elections were welcomed back to the US last night by getting arrested. Ironically, their trip was sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID)
Iran has blocked access to more than five million Internet sites, whose content is mostly perceived as immoral and anti-social, a judiciary official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
ashington For bloggers in Iran, the unpredictability of responses from the authorities makes it impossible to foretell whether they will be targeted in the ongoing government crackdown on alternative media sources. But fear has not stopped Iranians from using the blogosphere to influence their fellow citizens. Earlier in 2008, Iranian authorities decried the alleged dangers of blogging, text messaging and other popular means of communication. They even threatened to charge some bloggers with heresy, which carries a potential death sentence
The National Council of Resistance of Iran reported recently that SMS use in Iran is now regulated. According to the article, the Organization of Communications Regulations in Iran has imposed restrictions on sending SMS, requiring a security check by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to receive clearance for using the service.
Mobile phone users in Iran who wish to use the SMS feature on their mobile phones will now be required to apply for security clearance by the Ministry of of Intelligence and Security
The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah has blocked access to a popular news website because of the site's reporting on widespread corruption among the entourage of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. For several days, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been unable to view the website Donia al-Watan
n most countries with Internet censorship, it takes a massive government effort to block unwanted Web content. China, for example, employs a vast arsenal of technologies and thousands of human censors to maintain its Great Firewall. Saudi Arabia is different. While the country blocks broad swaths of the Internet, from pornographic Web sites to calls for the overthrow of the government, Saudi Arabia has fewer than 25 people involved in the effort
The independent Tunisian online magazine Kalima has suffered an attack that has completely destroyed its web content, and in a separate but related incident, its editor has been abused by police in the street. The site has been so damaged that its webmasters have been unable to update or even to access it since the morning of 8 October 2008. The site will now have to be completely rebuilt and uploaded.
On Oct. 8, the independent online magazine Kalima, a strong critic of the regime of President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, was disabled and its content completely destroyed
Tunisian bloggers are rallying for a National Day for Freedom of Blogging on November 4. The day will coincide with a court hearing for a lawsuit filed by the journalist and blogger Zied El Heni against the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI).
Russia & Central Asia
On Wednesday Moscow's Internet users spent an action of solidarity with the Kemerovo blogger Dmitry Solovyov, who is accused of initiating hatred and humiliation of the police and FSB. Participants brought to the site near the metro station "Street in 1905" notebooks and placed in public in their diaries network, the same record that incriminating Solovevu, writes Internet newspaper Favorites. Meanwhile, dozens of other people placed similar messages, while at home. On shares were previously notified the city authorities and police.
Deletionpedia is an archive of pages which have been deleted from the English-language Wikipedia. Deletionpedia is not a wiki: you cannot edit the pages uploaded here. An automated bot uploads pages as they are deleted from Wikipedia.
social virtual private network application is a new approach at creating virtual private networks. It relies on a P2P library (Brunet) which allows for NAT traversal. It also supports IP layer multicast without the need for multicast-enabled routers.
November 27-28: How technology (and internet in particular) influences society.
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
XS4ALL is holding a two-day conference on the influence of technology on society, naturally devoting particular attention to the internet. The conference is being organised in an unusual way: a weblog and a wiki have been set up to enable a large group of people to draw up the programme jointly.
December 2: Third Annual GigaNet Symposium
Location: Hyderabad International Conference Center, India
December 3- 6 : United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF)
Location: Hyderabad, India
February 9 - 13, 2009: Informática 2008 - New Technologies: Development and Sovereignty
Location: Havana, Cuba
March 1- 6, 2009: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - Public Meeting
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico will host the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' 34th International Public Meeting from 1-6 March 2009.
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