Censorship

A look at how Syria censors the internet

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/525076/syrian-web-censorship-techniques-revealed/ The conflict in Syria has led to internet blackouts, but this article reveals the more pernicious censorship that’s ongoing. Most content…

Pakistan’s YouTube ban, one year later

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2013/0919/Pakistan-s-YouTube-ban-1-year-later Pakistan started banning access to YouTube a year ago as a response to violent protests against clips of the anti-Islamic film…

Without the option of privacy, we are lost

Privacy allows the intellectual and moral development of ourselves and our society. Without it, we are at best trapped in a system of self-censorship, and at worst building a platform for an authoritarian future.

Github is blocked in China

Updated: The popular project-hosting and code-sharing site is apparently caught up in the Great Firewall of China and is unavailable to users there, according to multiple reports.

CBS takes aim at a rival, shoots CNET in the foot

The Hopper from Dish Network was a finalist in CNET’s “Best of CES” awards — until parent company CBS told the tech news-and-reviews site that it couldn’t include the company because CBS is suing it. How can readers trust CNET’s journalism after such a decision?

Twitter, Reddit and the battle over freedom of speech

First Reddit and now Twitter have had to confront issues related to freedom of speech recently, and decide which way they are going to go when it comes to protecting it. As social media becomes more mainstream, such battles will likely become more frequent.

Twitter at a crossroads: Economic value vs. information value

As Twitter tries to evolve from being a real-time information network into a multibillion-dollar commercial media entity, it is having to face the inherent conflict between those two goals, and many critics see the suspension of journalist Gary Adams’ account as a symptom of that conflict.

Censorship: OK to fight copyright infringement but not sex abuse?

Internet censorship is once again in the news after a federal judge posited a proposed Washington law aiming to prevent child prostitution is likely unconstitutional under the Communications Decency Act. A bigger question is why free speech still reigns online except when copyright is involved.

Why the UK’s porn filter plans are just an illusion

The British government is considering once again whether to apply mandatory filters to block all adult content on the internet. But what’s the point of campaigning for a technological solution when the technology itself doesn’t work properly?

Crazy: Orange censors all blogs, not just GigaOM

After weeks of trying to find out why Orange mobile censored GigaOM for millions of mobile users in Britain, we finally have an answer: it’s because the company’s crude child protection blocks anything that looks like a blog by default.

Anonymous takes on Indian government, Bollywood

As promised, hactivist group Anonymous organized demonstrations on Saturday in 16 cities throughout India, protesting the governments Internet laws and the ISPs’ blocking of popular file-sharing sites. Protesters donned Guy Fawkes masks and amassed at cricket grounds and other outdoor landmarks from Chennai to Delhi.

Orange explains why it overblocked GigaOM… sort of

British mobile operators have come in for criticism recently for ‘overblocking’ — incorrectly identifying sites as adult content and censoring them from ordinary web users. After GigaOM fell foul of one network’s filters, we asked for answers. And now they’re trickling in.

Orange stops overblocking GigaOM – but won’t say why

British mobile firms are often accused of “overblocking” — censoring the web for their users in the name of child protection. But after GigaOM was blocked, we’ve discovered first hand how dangerous bad filters can be… and how hard it is to get answers from operators.

Activists vow to defeat Iran’s Internet censorship

Iran is tightening its grip on the Internet before Friday’s parliamentary elections, but activists from Tor and related projects vow to keep up the free flow of information. That’s the best thing the world can do for the country, says the founder of Iran’s Reddit.

Syria starts blocking live streams from Homs

Syria blocked access to live streaming site Bambuser on Thursday, cutting off one of the last windows into the embattled city of Homs, which has been under attack for days. This follows similar efforts by other regimes to suppress citizen coverage of the Arab Spring.

Sorry Dick, but Twitter is definitely a media entity

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said on Monday that the company is not a media entity, but in most of the ways that matter, it clearly is — and that’s why its recent decision to selectively censor content that flows through its network is so important.

How much should we trust our new information overlords?

The news that Twitter will be censoring tweets has reinforced for many the fact that our freedoms exist at the mercy of the companies whose networks we are using — and being used by. How much trust should we have in these new information gatekeepers?

Why Ron Conway is fighting SOPA

More than perhaps anyone else in Silicon Valley, SV Angel’s Ron Conway knows how important free expression on the Internet can be for fledgling technology companies to grow and prosper. So it’s probably not a surprise he’s against the proposed PIPA and SOPA bills.

Tech firms fight SOPA by talking job creation

The latest attack on the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) shows that the tech industry is getting smarter about talking to Washington. Industry groups are now stressing how crucial the Internet is to job creation, a hot topic in the current political climate.

New Node.js blocked by Great Firewall of China

The Great Firewall of China is preventing local programmers from downloading the latest Node.js programming framework. The problem is that the version number corresponds to the June 4, 1989 government crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators.

Would Google block payments to the New York Times?

In testimony on new anti-piracy legislation, Google’s policy counsel argued the payment blockade against WikiLeaks was a good example of how copyright infringement could be handled. But that blockade is a disturbing attack on freedom of the press — is that really something Google wants to support?

Tech giants to feds: We need free trade for data

Google, IBM, Citi and a handful of other large U.S. technology and banking companies are pushing the U.S. government to take the lead on establishing global treaties that would assure the free flow of information across international borders. If the government is smart, it will listen.

Blaming the tools: Britain proposes a social-media ban

It seems totalitarian states like Egypt aren’t the only ones struggling with the impact of social media and the desire to muzzle services like Twitter and Facebook. Britain says it’s considering a ban on social media in the wake of the riots in London.

Sita Sings The Blues blocked in Germany

Nina Paley is upset. Her movie Sita Sings The Blues is blocked for German users on YouTube, making it the latest casualty in an ongoing conflict between the video site and German music rights group Gema. Rights holders deny that they’re to blame for the incident.

Russian Court Bans YouTube Over Extremist Video

A local Russian court in in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur has banned YouTube as well as four other sites, ruling that local ISP Rosnet could block users from accessing the site due to extremist videos that had been uploaded by some of its users.

Turkey Wants Taxes From YouTube Despite Blocking the Site

Turkish Internet users have been blocked from accessing YouTube since 2008 – but the country still wants Google to pay taxes for the video site. The demands come as Turkey is actually stepping up its censorship against YouTube, inadvertently blocking many other Google services as well.

Thai Video Censorship Widening As Shots Are Fired

Thailand’s government is cracking down on opposition protests in Bangkok, leaving protesters wounded and dead. Opposition groups are using the Internet do get the word out, but live streaming sites like Livestream.com and Justin.tv can’t be accessed from within the country due to censorship.

Citibank Red-faced After Censoring Fabulis

Citibank has admitted that a staffer blocked the bank account of gay-networking startup Fabulis and threatened to terminate the company’s account because of what it termed “objectionable content” on the Fabulis blog, but says it has now clarified its internal policies for Internet business accounts.

Twitter Thinks It Can Evade Chinese Censorship

Though its web site has been blocked by Chinese censors since last June, Twitter is working on utilizing the distributed nature of its service to become available to Chinese users, said CEO Evan Williams at Davos according to a report by the Financial Times.

Google Takes on China; Will Stop Censoring Results

Google, in response to what it called “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure” aimed at penetrating the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, said today it will cease censoring results on Google.cn.

National Firewalls A Step On Slippery Slope To Censorship

Add Thailand to the list of countries proposing national firewalls. The county’s move to block sites that are “offensive” to the royal family could move toward broader censorship. Other nations, including the U.S. and Australia, are struggling with similar concerns.