Archive for the ‘Censorship’ category

FBI Raids Anonymous

January 31st, 2011

The FBI has executed 40 arrest warrants throughout the US in an investigation against the online group Anonymous.

These arrests came as a response to recent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in defense of WikiLeaks in 2010. The attacks targeted Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and Amazon, all of which stopped providing services to WikiLeaks after it started the distribution of thousands of leaked diplomatic cables.

In their statement, the FBI said that these arrests are “as part of an ongoing investigation into recent coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations”.

ars technica has some really interesting personal stories from people who got arrested and searched by the FBI.

UK to Kill Open Public WiFi?

March 1st, 2010

Some hot-headed and a bit out-of-touch lawmakers in the United Kingdom are trying to pass a bill that will effectively kill all open WiFi spots in the country.

In an effort to stop downloads of copyrighted content, file sharing and other illegal activity, the Digital Economy bill aims to hold open hot spot owners as responsible to any online activity that happens on their network. The law will not exempt universities, libraries and small businesses – which will probably mean the end of open, public, WiFi in the UK, because no one would want to take the risk.

Why shouldn’t libraries, for example, be exempt from this law? The bill makers explain:

“We have considered the extent to which an exemption might be provided in the legislation. We cannot give blanket exemptions for any such establishment. This would send entirely the wrong signal and could lead to “fake” organisations being set up, claiming an exemption and becoming a hub for copyright infringement. Similarly existing establishments might simply ignore the issue of copyright infringement (or treat as “too difficult”) and allow users to infringe copyright with effective immunity”.

Naturally, this bill will make internet access more expensive and more limited – even for honest people who have never downloaded anything copyrighted. The solution for copyright problems isn’t in technology – it’s in pricing, greed and education.

Verizon Blocked 4chan

February 8th, 2010

4chan, the hugely popular website, has been blocked by Verizon.

From a post on the 4chan blog: “Over the past 72 hours, we’ve been receiving reports from Verizon Wireless customers having difficulty accessing the image boards.”

The latest update from 4chan confirms it: “After an hour and a half on the phone, we’ve received confirmation from Verizon’s Network Repair Bureau (NRB) that we are “explicitly blocked.”

According to a report on ReadWriteWeb, a Verizon NRB rep said their center has been deluged with phone calls but was unable to relate the specific reason the site has been blocked.

If you are not familiar with it, 4chan is an imageboard website. 4chan was launched in 2003, and its boards are mainly  used for the posting of pictures and discussion of manga and anime. Users usually post anonymously, and the site led some of the hottest internet trends, like Rickrolling and Chocolate Rain.

The Guardian once called the 4chan community “lunatic, juvenile… brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.” – but the fact remains: 4chan has a huge influence on internet culture, and despite Verizon’s block, it’s not going to disappear soon.

Why Google REALLY Wants Out of China

January 20th, 2010

Oxblood Ruffin with some very strong words about the real reasons behind Google’s threat to leave China:

“Clearly, Google has thought this through. It knows that China will not un-censor the internet; not by a single pubic hair, nor a solitary mention of the Dalai Lama. So why would Google throw down the gauntlet?”

[ Read it here ]

Tweeting in Jordan is Dangerous

January 15th, 2010

Authorities in Jordan can now  prosecute or impose fines on any electronic medium of Publishing from SMS to the Internet user from Twitter user, to Facebook, to journalists, bloggers and editors for publishing online material that the law finds wrong.

That’s right, tweeting in Jordan might land you in the Big House, so be careful out there!

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