Sunday, August 24, 2008

Internet Freedom Alert 1.14

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 1.14 covers developments from Aug 10 - Aug 22, 2008. Links, Events and articles mentioned are summarized weekly from the Internet Freedom Bookmarks site - that can be accessed @

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The rise of 'User-Generated Censorship'

While powerful institutions such as governments and corporations develop increasingly sophisticated ways to censor the net, and users find ways around it, a new kind of censorship is appearing online – user-generated censorship.

This newly coined phrase describes a phenomenon whereby collaborative social networks get together to flag content as “inappropriate” and get it hidden or even removed. Flagging is a kind of filtering system used by social network sites to highlight articles and remove content that is illegal, inappropriate or harmful. If you get enough flags against your comments/site/blog entry, the owner of the site may remove your content entirely.

Internet filtering and censorship rife

Believe the conspiracy theories: Out of sight and without your knowledge, governments truly are filtering what you see on the Internet. Internet users are increasingly having content blocked by governments around the world. Internet users are increasingly having content blocked by governments around the world. The recent conflict between Georgia and Russia has highlighted many of the issues at play with Internet filtering, as its increasing use by governments raises serious doubts about the freedom of the Web.

Western Companies' Crucial Role in Building China's Great Firewall

The Great Firewall of China is the most sophisticated mass censorship weapon ever created, a gargantuan digital cruncher that controls the information flow to 1.3 billion people. But China alone could not have put this cyber-bunker together without the inestimable assistance of scores of Western technology corporations, who are not only adding and abetting the Chinese censors. They are also cheering for them during the commercial breaks of Olympic broadcasts

Freedom of Expression

Bloggers Arrest Is On Rise

The World Information Access Project at the University of Washington released a report that identified 64 bloggers, unaffiliated with news organizations, who had been arrested for the contents of their blogs between 2003 and 2008. The growing number of such blogger arrests underscores the political importance of blogging around the world.

Internet Governance

South Summer School on Internet Governance SOUTH-SSIG 2009

The South Summer School on Internet Governance (SOUTH-SSIG) helps interested students and academics as well as individuals working in the private sector or in government, to understand better the global Internet Governance controversy and to get a comprehensive and structured knowledge on the various aspects of Internet Governance.


Telecommunications data retention

In the field of telecommunications, data retention (or data preservation) generally refers to the storage of call detail records (CDRs) of telephony and internet traffic and transaction data (IPDRs) by governments and commercial organisations. In the case of government data retention, the data that is stored is usually of telephone calls made and received, emails sent and received and web sites visited. Location data is also collected.

Internet, Broadband Companies Admit to Tracking User Behavior Without Explicit Consent

According to a letter released recently by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, several Internet and broadband companies have admitted to using targeted-advertising technology without explicitly informing customers. Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post reports: "Google, in its letter to committee Chairman John Dingell, Markey, Stearns and Rep. Joe L. Barton, stressed that it did not engage in potentially the most invasive of technologies—deep-packet inspection, which companies such as NebuAd have tested with some broadband providers. But Google did note that it had begun to use across its network the 'DoubleClick ad-serving cookie,' a computer code that allows the tracking of Web surfing."


Protect yourself online, Consumer Report's state of the net 2008 Report

Consumer Reports's 2008 State of the Net survey. It found that although threats such as viruses and spyware have eased, they are still prevalent and cost consumers billions of dollars in repairs and replaced computers.

UK's Defense Group Warns Against Internet Protocol Security Challenges

Recent report says many textbooks and articles have created the myth that the Internet Protocols (IP) were designed for warfare environments, while in reality they originally focused on operational aspects of the protocol and overlooked security implications. United Kingdom's Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has released a document raising awareness of the many security threats from attacks based on the Internet protocol. According to this report, "producing a secure TCP/IP implementation nowadays is a very difficult task" partly because no single document provides security roadmap for the protocols

Georgia DDoS Attacks - A Quick Summary of Observations

The clashes between Russia and Georgia over the region of South Ossetia have been shadowed by attacks on the Internet. As we noted in July, the Georgia presidential website fell victim to attack during a war of words. A number of DDoS attacks have occurred in the region, and often do when tensions flare. We have been observing the attacks, making measurements, and sharing data with a select group of others to trace the origins of the attacks and monitor the situation. While some are speculating about cyber-warfare and state sponsorship, we have no data to indicate anything of the sort at this time. We are seeing some botnets, some well known and some not so well known, take aim at Georgia websites. Note that RIA Novosti, a Russian news outlet, was apparently targeted during this fighting. Georgian hackers are accused of this event.

An Illustrated Guide to the Kaminsky DNS Vulnerability

The big security news of Summer 2008 has been Dan Kaminsky's discovery of a serious vulnerability in DNS. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to redirect network clients to alternate servers of his own choosing, presumably for ill ends. This all led to a mad dash to patch DNS servers worldwide, and though there have been many writeups of just how the vulnerability manifests itself, we felt the need for one in far more detail. Hence, an Illustrated Guide.

Experts Accuse US Administration of Foot-Dragging on DNS Security Hole

Despite a recent high-profile vulnerability that showed the net could be hacked in minutes, the domain name system -- a key internet infrastructure -- continues to suffer from a serious security weakness, thanks to bureaucratic inertia at the U.S. government agency in charge, security experts say. If the complicated politics of internet governance continue to get in the way of upgrading the security of the net's core technology, the internet could turn into a carnival house of mirrors, where no URL or e-mail address could be trusted to be genuine, according to Bill Woodcock, research director at the nonprofit Packet Clearing House.

Opinion Articles

Drilling a Hole into the Great Firewall of China

Rebecca MacKinnon has just published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about the true meaning and scope of the so-called Great Firewall of China, the digital fortress that keeps one sixth of the world's population in the dark of the information age. She contends that the regime's censorship prowess reaches well beyond this ideological bunker, whose armor only shields users from websites from outside China

The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0

So far, the Olympics have been an open invitation to China-bash, a bottomless excuse for Western journalists to go after the Commies on everything from internet censorship to Darfur. Through all the nasty news stories, however, the Chinese government has seemed amazingly unperturbed. That's because it is betting on this: when the opening ceremonies begin friday, you will instantly forget all that unpleasantness as your brain is zapped by the cultural/athletic/political extravaganza that is the Beijing Olympics.

The games have been billed as China's "coming out party" to the world. They are far more significant than that. These Olympics are the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades, and is finally ready to show off. It is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarianism communism -- central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance....

Country Reports

North America

United States

Candidate for U.S. Congress Threatens Legal Action Against Blogger

George Lilly, the Republican candidate for Colorado's First Congressional District threatened a libel lawsuit against the Rocky Mountain Right ("RMR") blog.

Free licenses upheld

In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license.

Susan Crawford comments on FCC Comcast decision.

Yesterday's FCC decision to require Comcast to stop interfering with popular peer-to-peer applications being used by subscribers to its highspeed Internet access service was historic. Millions of Americans were surprised by Comcast's discriminatory activities, and the FCC accurately sensed that it was time to respond. Just three years ago, such an action by the FCC would have been unthinkable. Now the Commission looks both brave and in step with the times.


South Africa

U.S. Helps Computer Forensics Skills

THE US government has thrown its weight behind the training of South African state officials in computer forensics in a bid to build SA's capacity to fight intellectual property (IP) and counterfeit crimes.


EU internet proposals raise civil liberty fears

Civil liberty groups claim the new "telecoms package" due to go before the European Parliament in September will result in the loss of individual freedom on the internet, and breach the fundamental principles of human rights in Europe.


Digital Rights

Digital Rights is a non-profit civil organisation aimed at raising awareness of rights in the digital world. Digital Rights was founded in April 2000 in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Swedish Authorities Take Action Against Blogger For Revealing Surveillance Documents

Swedish blogger and civil rights activist Henrik Alexandersson has been reported for "freedom of speech" violations by the head of FRA (Swedish National Defense Radio Establishment), the government agency that is responsible for surveilling the contents, origins and destinations of all phone calls, internet traffic and text messages passing through swedish networks, regardless of suspicion or not. Alexandersson published a classified document on his blog some time ago that had been leaked to him, that proved how FRA had been conducting illegal surveillance against innocent Swedes for more than ten years. It is this offense that has landed him in trouble and deemed him a "threat to national security." In other word, the messenger gets shot for whistleblowing about the illegal conduct of government agencies.


Bloggers Banning Themselves

If you are a long-time follower of the Turkish blogosphere you will have undoubtedly heard about the Turkish ban on Wordpress….and the periodic bans on YouTube, and on the social-networking widget site Slide, oh..and now on Dailymotion as well. I think that is all.. Isn’t it? It is hard to keep track now-a-days and frustrating. Turkish bloggers feel the same way too, and are protesting the constant banning of sites by voluntarily banning their own.

Web Censorship Is So Bad in Turkey That Blogs Are Shutting Themselves Down In Protest (2,3)

It doesn’t take much to get your Website banned in Turkey. Pretty much any complaint to a lower court can get a Website blocked in the country. Websites including YouTube, DailyMotion, Alibaba,, and some Wordpress blogs have all been banned, usually because of some purported slight to the Turkish government or Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. (The Youtube ban was the result of a sophomoric video claiming Ataturk was gay). The problem has gotten so bad that Turkish blogs are now banning themselves in protest

United Kingdom

Government proposes email and internet tracking

The UK Government will store "a billion incidents of data exchange a day" as details of every text, email and browsing session in the UK are recorded under new proposals published in Aug 08.

Russia and Central Asia


New Crisis Maps of Georgia

A new set of crisis maps of Georgia have been posted over the past few days. Jonathan Thomas has kept us well informed of these developments, which include a detailed map provided by Microsoft, an OCHA map and updated layers on Google Earth

Cyberspace Barrage Preceded Russian Invasion of Georgia

Weeks before bombs started falling on Georgia, a security researcher in suburban Massachusetts was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace.

Internet experts in the United States said the attacks against Georgia’s Internet infrastructure began as early as July 20, with coordinated barrages of millions of requests — known as distributed denial of service, or D.D.O.S., attacks — that overloaded and effectively shut down Georgian servers.

Estonia to Help Georgia Fight Back Against Cyberattacks

Two Estonian computer security experts will arrive in Georgia tonight to help the besieged government battle back against an array of cyberattacks, reports

Georgian Web Sites Under Attack (2)

As Russian bombs rained down on towns in separatist towns of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, hackers mounted a digital assault on the nation's top Web properties this week, knocking government Web sites offline and defacing others. According to reports from security experts who have been monitoring the ongoing cyber attacks, the Web site for the office of Georgia Foreign Affairs ( was hacked, and its homepage was replaced with images depicting Georgia's president as a Nazi. That site is currently offline. Other Georgian Web properties, such as the Caucasus Network Tbilisi -- key Georgian commercial Internet servers -- remain under sustained attack from thousands of compromised PCs aimed at flooding the sites with so much junk Web traffic that they can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors.


New bill curbs freedom of assembly

Freedom of assembly is under threat in Kyrgystan after President Kurmanbek Bakiev signed an amended law on the rights of citizens on 6 August. The amendment makes it mandatory to register public gatherings twelve days in advance, and prohibits demonstrations over a period of several hours.

The amendments were passed despite an earlier court ruling that they were unconstitutional. Following complaints from the human rights community, the president’s press office stated that all such comments were fully considered but that the changes were necessary to guarantee the freedoms and rights of all citizens.


Facing harassment, Web site editor flees Russia

The editor-in-chief of independent news Web site Ingushetiya has fled Russia and is seeking asylum in Europe, daily The Moscow Times reported today.

Ingushetiya’s lawyer, Kaloy Akhilgov, told CPJ that Roza Malsagova left Russia two weeks ago being harassed, threatened, and beaten by Ingush authorities. She also faces criminal prosecution. Earlier this year, regional prosecutors opened several criminal cases against Malsagova, charging “incitement of ethnic hatred” and “distribution of extremist materials.”

“Through harassment and intimidation Russian authorities have succeeded in driving a leading independent journalist into exile,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “President Dmitry Medvedev recently affirmed his commitment to civil liberties and freedom of speech. The persecution of Roza Malsagova suggests that much more must be done to uphold this commitment.”

Moscow City Court Upholds Closure of

The Moscow City Court on August 12 upheld a lower court ruling ordering the closure of In June, Moscow’s Kuntsevsky District Court ordered that the opposition website be shut down for publishing extremist statements, but the website continued to operate while the Moscow City Court prepared to consider its appeal.

The Moscow Times on August 13 quoted’s founder, Magomed Yevloev, as calling the latest decision “unlawful” and promising that the website would keep operating despite the court’s ruling, which came into force right away. Yevloev said the web editors should be able to keep the site open on a technicality. “Only the website’s editors can decide on it being shut down, but they were not involved in the trial, so they are not planning to abide by it,” he said, adding that the website’s editors will now file their own court appeal.

Asia Pacific

A bloc of Bloggers of the South East Asia (SEA)

Bloggers of South East Asia (SEA) is created by a vision to unify bloggers from the region and to serve as a cradle for the budding and emerging bloggers.


Australia institutes code of conduct regulating online and mobile phone content

AFP reports that “Australia unveiled a new code of conduct to regulate online and mobile phone content which will call for classifications similar to those for films, a government spokesman said. All content likely to be rated as for viewers aged over 15 will need to be assessed and classified under the code, the Australian Communications and Media Authority said. The code of practice […] only affects online content originating in Australia.” about censorship and free speech

A wide range of information about the current state, and history, of censorship of films, publications and computer games in a State of censorship in Australia.

SAGE-AU slams cost of content filtering

Over-blocking access censorship of harmless content - to Internet sites even three percent of the time will impose “significant” costs on service providers, the System Administrators Guild of Australia (SAGE-AU) has warned.

Responding to this week’s Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) study into ISP-level web filtering, SAGE-AU claimed that while the over-blocking result “was a significant improvement on previous surveys”, the testbed network failed to simulate the peak traffic loads experienced by medium-to-large ISPs in Australia.

Privacy in Australia - The Year in review (2008)

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s report on privacy laws in Australia, For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice (ALRC 108), has been released.


New disrespect charge brought against blogger Nay Phone Latt

Internet café owner and blogger Nay Phone Latt was charged under sections 33 (a) and 38 of the Electronic Act at a hearing yesterday. The police said they found articles showing disrespect for the government in his email inbox.

Held since 29 January in Insein prison, Nay Phone Latt was initially charged under article 32 (b) of the Video Act, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison. He was then charged on 7 July under article 5 (j) of the Emergency Provision Act of 1950 and article 505 (b) of the criminal code (regarding defamation), which carry much longer jail terms.


Chinese media, marketing, advertising, and urban life - Danwei

Danwei is a website about media, advertising and urban life in China. With frequent reference to and translations from Mainland Chinese media, we publish fresh information about China that you won't find anywhere else. We also produce original video shows and audio podcasts about China.

How technology is being used to open up Tibet to the world

Anthropologist and Tibetan studies expert Losang Rabgey shows how technology is being used to open up Tibet to the world, as well as connect lives across the region, in ways true to their various experiences.

China's Internet awash with state spies

An innovative Internet-based "profession" of state-outsourced web commentators is flourishing under the guidance of the Chinese government, according to the latest edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER).

The Chinese Censorship Foreigners Don't See - Wall Street Journal

Censorship of ordinary Chinese people's electronic communications within China has changed little. Visiting reporters just aren't noticing because these forms of censorship relate to Chinese-language content they're not familiar with, hosted on Web sites and services located on computer servers inside China, which foreigners generally don't use.

China blocks iTunes over all-star Tibet album free download

Apple's online music store, iTunes, has been blocked in China after more than 40 Olympic athletes downloaded a pro-Tibet album from the site. Consumers in China began inundating Apple help forums on Monday, saying that they could not access iTunes. Earlier on the same day the US-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) announced that 46 athletes from America, Europe and even Beijing had used the site to download Songs for Tibet, which had been offered to them free.

Citizen reporter Zuola under ‘town arrest’(2, 3,4)

Well-known citizen reporter and blogger Zhou “Zuola” Shuguang was detained for just over an hour today in his hometown in Hunan province, and he was able to tweet what was happening as he was led out of the house then forced into a vehicle where he was driven back to his hometown of Meitanba.

China arrests cyber dissident, rights group says

Chinese police have arrested a prominent Internet dissident for violating his probation terms, accusing him of posting articles on overseas websites and receiving guests without permission, a rights group said. China has been cracking down on dissent in the run-up to next month's Beijing Olympics, fearing any unrest could embarrass the country while the world is watching. Du Daobin, from the central province of Hebei, was given a suspended sentence for subversion in 2004 having been detained by police in Wuhan for posting online essays in support of fellow dissident, Liu Di. Du was then released into house arrest, Reporters Without Borders said in an emailed statement, but was arrested this week.

China Detains 5 US Bloggers, Including Alive in Baghdad Founder

News has emerged that the Chinese government has detained at least five bloggers from the United States for reporting on protests in favor of Tibetan independence. Included among the detained was the widely admired founder of the video blog series Alive in Baghdad, Brian Conley. The detentions follow a wave of arrests of Chinese dissidents leading up to the Olympics. The US government pledged as the games began to engage the Chinese government concerning human rights - we wonder what those conversations look like now that China has detained journalists consistently critical of US policy as well.

More Americans held as China steps up scrutiny

The Committee to Protect Journalists said China had blocked more than 50 Web sites carrying news or advocating on behalf of pro-Tibetan groups, including the group's site (, before the Games began, reneging on pre-Olympics promises of Internet freedoms. A member of Students for a Free Tibet said the group had experienced cyberattacks aimed at making its U.S. Web site hard to use.

China Telecom Added Record Internet Users in June

China Telecom Corp., the nation's biggest fixed-line phone company, added a record number of high- speed Internet users last month, helping the company counter a loss in telephone subscribers. China Telecom gained 890,000 broadband customers for a total of 40 million at the end of June

China - Olympics

080808: How China’s Web Savvy are Following the Games

There’s tremendous buzz online about the Olympic Games in China. One of the best ways to follow all the excitement, is on Twitter. People who are posting about Beijing and the Games are using and the tag #080808, which takes you to a roundup of all the posts so tagged

Why Is the Chinese Government So Good at Censoring?

This column by John Kamm, founder and executive director of the Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights group, presents devastating evidence in this respect. Kamm uses an international poll by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Survey to prove that when it comes to world perception of their country, the Chinese live in a fantasy land.

ONI analysis of Internet filtering during Beijing Olympic Games: Week 1

The Open Net Initiative (ONI) compared data from the Olympics Main Press Center (MPC) to that from other locations in Beijing, compiling a snapshot of Internet filtering in China leading up to week 1 of the Olympics.

The 21 edicts from the Chinese Government's propaganda unit

China’s iron Olympic grip starts to slip

Internet critics, made bold by their uncensored criticism of the Games' opening ceremony, are seeking new targets The mystery of the half-filled stands at many events at the 2008 Olympic Games has been solved, according to Chinese internet users, who say it is the result of a policy to prevent the gathering of large and possibly uncontrollable crowds.

Twitterer/streaming video broadcaster evicted from Olympics

Activist Twitterer noneck (aka Noel Hidalgo) was in Tiananmen Square on Saturday for a free-Tibet protest. After he Twittered the event and broadcast it live over Qik, Chinese authorities deported him.


Sex choice adverts banned from search engines in India

Internet censorship has many and varied faces. The latest revealed itself in India as the Supreme Court ordered Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to stop serving up adverts for sites that promote sex selection services

Google ordered to reveal blogger's identity

Google has been ordered to unmask the identity of an anonymous blogger in India in a defamation suit by a Gremach Infrastructure Equipment and Projects Ltd.

The Regulation of the Internet with Relation to Speech and Expression by the Indian State

This paper examines how the Indian State regulates the Internet and the relation this has to the limitations imposed on the State's actions vis-a-vis the rights provided by the Indian constitution protecting speech and expression as well as privacy. Building upon contemporary technology law writings, it argues that not only is the Internet 'regulable' by nation states, it is in fact more and more being regulated even by liberal democratic nation states which have constitutional limitations on the powers of their governments to direct and enforce such restrictions. The Indian situation has demonstrated the increasing engagement of the State with issues concerning Internet surveillance and regulation but with comparatively poor documentation of the same. This has been in addition to a glaring lack of informed debate concerning civil liberties and constitutional values with respect to Internet regulation in India.

Korea - North

North Korea Likely to Provide Internet Service from 2009

It seems likely that North Korea will finally join the worldwide web and provide Internet service from next year. Kim Sang-myung, the chief of the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, a group of former North Korean professionals, at a symposium in the National Assembly on Wednesday said, "According to the Internet Access Roadmap it launched in 2002, North Korea will begin providing Internet service for special agencies and authorized individuals as early as next year."


Malaysian Blogger Arrested for "Sedition"

Sedition is a favorite “law” to levy against bloggers by both Malaysia and its neighbor, Singapore. In Malaysia on Wednesday, blogger “Penarik Beca,” or Abu Bakar Mohd Rashid, joined American-Malaysian Raja Petra Kamarudin, in being charged with sedition. Bakaq was arrested Wednesday and his computer and cellular phone seized.

What exactly is sedition?

It has been a tumultuous time for blogging and online expression in Malaysia. With the ongoing court cases with blogger and online news portal editor, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, as well as the detention of Malay language blogger, Abdul Bakar aka ‘Penarik Beca’, it is with little surprise that it has been reported that Malaysian foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, called for the creation of a council or other form of mechanism to monitor bloggers.

News reports stated that Dr Rais Yatim believed that Malaysia has sufficient sanctions under the Sedition Act 1948, but he believed that there might be insufficient enforcement under the Act. Because of this, Dr Rais was said to opine that establishing a council would assist in both sanctions and enforcement.

Malaysian blogs fly flag upside down

Since August 3rd, some Malaysian blogs have featured the national flag (or “Jalur Gemilang“) posted upside-down as a sign of a nation in distress. The call was said to be have been made by blogger Sheih aka ‘kickdefella‘ from the country’s east coast, a call which many bloggers have taken to. Some bloggers have deigned to show disrespect to the flag, although they have posted the ruling party’s flag upside down on their blog.

Deface If You Dare

How do you draw the public's attention away from online media? The answer is not to detain another blogger for sedition. Malaysian bloggers were up in arms again when blogger Bakaq aka 'Penarik Beca' was detained for sedition recently. Bakaq, whose real name is Abdul Rashi Abu Bakar, was detained (and since released) for defacing the Royal Malaysian Police crest by allegedly substituting the tiger in the emblem with a dog.

New Zealand

New Zealand's internet future and how to fix it

A group of experts has descended on Queenstown for a three-day Netsafe conference that aims to unlock the mysteries of our internet future.


Law requires companies to store all Internet datas for 90 days

As of Aug 23, private firms, organisations and government agencies will be required to store all internet traffic data for 90 days so it is available as digital evidence for police.


Calls for the release of blogger God Cay

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called Monday for the release of blogger God Cay, arrested according to official Vietnamese media on suspicion of tax evasion, but according to the organization pay its media criticism against the communist government.

Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Arab Media: Dilemmas of a free media: S Nihal Singh

Freedom of the media, as we understand it, does not exist in the Arabian Gulf. The surprise is not that this is so, but rather in how new shoots of a more tolerant and liberal era are beginning to sprout.


MP calls for Facebook ban

A BAHRAINI MP is calling for the blocking of websites such as the social network Facebook, which he says is corrupting the morals of Bahraini youngsters. MP Abdul Haleem Murad said such websites were against Islamic teachings and should be closed in addition to others where women posted their pictures and information.


Egypt demanding data on cyber cafe users (2)

An Egyptian NGO accuses the Egyptian authorities of forcing cyber cafés to gather personal information on Internet users, saying the measure was a violation of privacy.

Al-Dustour staff questioned over Tamim article

Editorial staff from independent daily Al-Dostour was among those summoned for questioning by a public prosecution office in Giza Wednesday, in connection with the publishing of an article about the murder of a Lebanese singer in Dubai.

Online monitoring a violation of internet user privacy, says rights group

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned Saturday the Egyptian government’s move to gather the personal information of users at internet cafes as an infringement on privacy.

“The Egyptian government imposed new measures to increase censorship on internet users in violation of their privacy rights. This privacy abuse and censoring procedure has become a widespread reality,” ANHRI said in a statement released on Aug. 9

Increase in Censorship and Internet Users' Privacy Violation ANHRI Publishes the Abuse Evidences

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information today that, “The Egyptian government imposed a new measurement which increases the extent of the censorship on Internet users, and violates their right to privacy. The new measurement obliges the tourist coffee shops, to keep the information of their visitors who uses the internet, including their names, email and phone numbers before they use the Internet. This privacy-abusive and censoring procedure become a wide spread reality.


Conservative site now blocked

Alef, an Iranian conservative site, was filtered a few days ago. Several sites and blogs report that Alef has published Iranian Minister of Interior’s “fake” Ph.D certificate from Oxford where you can find many mistakes in English


Likud party website hacked

The Likud party's website ( was hacked on Wednesday by a hacker known as Cold Zero, who is a part of a group of hackers known as Team Hell. The group is known to be as a collection of Muslim hackers, believed to comprise of mostly Palestinian hackers.


Silencing online speech in Tunisia

Three more blogs have been blocked in Tunisia this week. These blogs, Mochagheb (Disturber), Ennaqed (The Critic) and Place Mohamed Ali have all been particularly active in providing news of the struggle of The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), and especially about the latest social unrest in the southwestern phosphate mining region of Gafsa, where two people have been killed. One was shot dead by security forces and the other was electrocuted inside a local electric generator.

Tunisia seems to have blocked access to Facebook

Tunisia seems to have blocked access to Facebook today. Some Tunisian bloggers in the country report being unable to access the popular social networking website and took several screenshots of the fake 404 blockpage. Tunisia is also blocking access, permanently, to both popular video-sharing websites, Youtube (since Since November 2nd, 2007) and Dailymotion (since Septembre 3rd, 2007)


Some previously blocked web sites now accessible

As the deadline to unblock 1,000 Internet sites in the country nears, some previously blocked medical sites are now accessible. However, industry sources say that a majority of the popular social networking sites are likely to remain blocked. Earlier this month, the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that web service providers, Etisalat and du, would be asked to unblock 1,000 sites by August 29 under its new 'Internet Access Management Policy'. The service providers, on the other hand, claimed they had not been officially notified by the TRA in the matter.

Recommended Resources


Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop or iPhone and our Internet gateway. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers and hackers from viewing your email, instant messages, credit card information or anything else you send over the network.

ABA-SIL Human Rights Committee e-Brief Newsletter

The American Bar Association (ABA) Human Rights Committee weekly newsletter - circulated each Monday to approximately 1600 Human Rights Attorneys, activists and educators. To subscribe, visit the URL below or send an email to

Cybercrime law

The emerging global legal framework based on the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime as a model law or a guideline, promotes the harmonization of national legal approaches on cybercrime. This comprehensive survey of current legislations from around the world includes the laws of 78 countries.

EPIC's Privacy & Human Rights (PHR) Report

An International Survey of Privacy Laws and Developments

Global Cybersecurity Gateway - Legislation and Enforcement

The Cybersecurity Gateway portal is supported by the ITU for policy-makers, regulators and governments. It provides a global overview cybersecurity developments in the area of legislation and law enforcement.

Global Information Society Watch

The Global Information Society Watch 2007 report - the first in a series of annual reports- looks at state of the field of information and communication technology (ICT) policy at local and global levels and particularly how policy impacts on the lives of people living in developing countries.

Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured: Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda); Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines); Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru); and Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania), with one report from a Western European country (Spain).

infoDev & ITU's ICT Regulation Toolkit

The ICT Regulation Toolkit is a resource supported by the ITU & InfoDev for policy-makers, regulators, the telecom industry, and consumers. It provides a global overview of how telecom policy is best implemented with practical materials highlighting experience and results.

Internet Law & Policy Forum

The Internet Law & Policy Forum (ILPF) is a nonprofit business association that was formed in 1995 by leading companies such as Netscape, AOL, Visa, Fujitsu and British Telecom. The organization focuses on the complex issues facing governments and businesses as the Internet becomes an increasingly significant aspect of our economy and society

Digital Advocacy Talk at Google UK

Michael Geist's talk on digital advocacy @ Google UK

Shadowserver Foundation

The Shadowserver Foundation gathers intelligence on the darker side of the internet. We are comprised of volunteer security professionals from around the world. Our mission is to understand and help put a stop to high stakes cybercrime in the information age.

Tahoe: A Secure Distributed Filesystem

The "Tahoe" project is a distributed filesystem, which safely stores files on multiple machines to protect against hardware failures. Cryptographic tools are used to ensure integrity and confidentiality, and a decentralized architecture minimizes single points of failure.

Twitter: Not Just Chatter But a Channel for Your Cause

The micro-blogging social network has grown from 200,000 users to over 2 million users in about a year, and individuals, companies, news outlets, fire departments, and nonprofit organizations have been using the free service to connect, inform, and engage.

UNESCO Observatory on the Information Society

UNESCO's Information Society Observatory

Calls for Participation

25th Chaos Communication Congress

Call for Participation of the 25th Chaos Communication Congress 2008 (25C3). The Chaos Communication Congress is the annual four-day conference organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) and taking place in Berlin.

Upcoming Events

September 8-10: Third Access to Knowledge Global Conference

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

The Yale University Information Society project (ISP) will convene its third annual global conference on Access to Knowledge (A2K3) in Geneva, Switzerland

September 11-13: Oxford e-Research Conference

Location: Oxford University

This multi-disciplinary, international conference on e-Research will be held at the University of Oxford from 11-13 September 2008. It is being organized by a consortium of research projects in association with the journal Information Communication and Society (iCS).

September 26 - 28: The 36th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy

Location: Center for Technology and the Law, George Mason University Law School, Arlington, Virginia

October 3 - 4: Tech4Africa

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

A web and emerging technology conference for Africa

October 9 - 10: 9th Latin American Congress of Communication Researchers

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

October 14, 2008: Open Web Asia Conference ‘08

Location: Seoul, Korea

The first pan-Asia web technology event bringing together executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from throughout Asia”

Open Web Asia ‘08 marks the birth of a new conference that will be the first truly pan-Asia web technology event. Top technology executives, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists from throughout Asia will gather for this premier event to be hosted in Seoul, Korea in its inaugural year.

October 20 - 21: European Dialogue on Internet Governance

Location: Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France

Consultations before the 3rd IGF in Hyderabad with a particular emphasis on : "Fostering security, privacy and openness on the internet" European actors interested in Internet Governance issues will meet in Strasburg on 20-21 October 2008, to discuss openly and freely their ideas, experiences and concerns in a fully multi-stakeholder format.

October 26 - 29 : The Internet: Governance and the Law

Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada

Conference on Internet Policy, regulation and governance, McGill University

Sessions will deal with topics such as Internet Governance beyond the Nation State, Cyber Regulation, Convergence of Telecommunications, PC and Broadcast; Competition; Deregulation; Free Speech vs. Defamation/Hate Speech, Privacy vs. Security; Consumer Protection, Cryptography, Domain Name, Open Source, Patents, Copyright, Trademarks, Cybercrime and Terrorism, E-Commerce, Legal Liability and e-Transactions, Property and Piracy, Telemarketing Fraud et. al.

November 3-4, 2008: Chinese Bloggers Conference 2008 和而不同,多志兴邦

Location: Beijing, China

Please visit the official blog of cnbloggrrcon,, or follow the twitter agent of cnbloggercon at,,

November 2-7, 2008: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - Public Meeting

Cairo, Egypt will host the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' 33rd International Public Meeting

November 8 - 10: VIII International Human Rights Colloquium : "60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Challenges for the Global South"

Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

The VIII International Human Rights Colloquium is an annual capacity building and peer-learning event designed for young activists from the Global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America). The objective of the VIII International Human Rights Colloquium is to strengthen the impact of human rights activists work and to offer the opportunity to build new collaborative networks among activists, academics and the Organization of the United Nations (UN).

November 14-16: Evento Blog España

Location: Seville, Spain

Evento Blog España aims to be a big event, one that brings together bloggers from the Spanish and European Blogosphere. This year the event will be held in Seville, Spain

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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