Category Archives: Censorship

Syria and Yemen: 29 November 2012

At 10:30 AM GMT yesterday, 29 November 2012, routing to Yemen suddenly changed from London to Dubai through FLAG to New York to Dubai through ETISALAT, as shown in the animation here and detailed in the PerilWatch from InternetPerils. That timing closely matched the 10:26 AM GMT Syrian disconnect time reported by Renesys. This is very reminiscent of Mubarak disconnecting Egypt 22:30 GMT 20 January 2011. This tactic didn’t help Mubarak’s regime in Egypt, and it probably won’t help Assad’s regime in Syria; rather the opposite: people don’t like their Internet being turned off. And it tends to cause the international community to rally around the rebels.


Egypt Returns

Egypt returned to the Internet about 09:30 GMT today (2 February 2011). This sudden return after being as suddenly disconnected one week ago (27 January 2011) is obviously not due to ordinary causes such as congestion, cable cut, or router failure. This political disconnection of an entire country does not seem to have helped the regime responsible for it; quite the opposite.


European Parliament Votes for Internet Freedom and Security

Sometimes a legislative body gets the picture and shows some spine:
Despite last minute attempts by the French government to divide them, European MEPs today voted decisively against “three strikes”, the IFPI-promoted plan to create a class of digital outcasts, forbidden from accessing the Net if repeatedly accused by music companies of downloading infringing content.

In a vote held today, hundreds of MEPs supported language which declared termination of Internet access to be in conflict with “civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness”, all core values of the European Union.

… And Guy Bono, the author of the report, had this to say in the plenary:

“On this subject, I am firmly opposed to the position of some Member States, whose repressive measures are dictated by industries that have been unable to change their business model to face necessities imposed by the information society. The cut of Internet access is a disproportionate measure regarding the objectives. It is a sanction with powerful effects, which could have profound repercussions in a society where access to the Internet is an imperative right for social inclusion.”

European Parliament to Sarkozy: No “Three Strikes” Here, Posted by Danny O’Brien, EFF, April 10th, 2008

The European Parliament voted for social inclusion, participation, and human rights over profits for a tiny group of companies. That wasn’t hard. Even if the vote had gone the other way, it wouldn’t have produced any real security for the tiny group, and the way it did go, it produces far more security for everyone else. Maybe the U.S. can get the message.


Censorship as Security: GoDaddy Delists Cop Rating Web Site

ratemycop_2.jpg This is security?
A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops.

GoDaddy Silences Police-Watchdog Site, By Kevin Poulsen, ThreatLevel, March 11, 2008 | 8:42:42 PM

Heaven forbid we should have public oversight of public servants.

This is customer service? Continue reading

Encrypted BitTorrent: Take That, Comcast!

tf-shirt-2.jpg Why am I not surprised?

Several BitTorrent developers have joined forces to propose a new protocol extension with the ability to bypass the BitTorrent interfering techniques used by Comcast and other ISPs. This new form of encryption will be implemented in BitTorrent clients including uTorrent, so Comcast subscribers are free to share again.

BitTorrent Developers Introduce Comcast Busting Encryption, by Ernesto, TorrentFreak, on February 15, 2008

BitTorrent itself is a hack to route around slow uplink speeds by using many uplinks all at once, so why not another hack to encrypt BitTorrent headers to make them harder for the likes of Comcast to detect?

Continue reading

Censorship Connected with Violent Terrorism

turkey_kerincsiz.jpg Over in Turkey:
Kemal Kerincsiz, the lawyer who tried to prosecute Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink, Elif Shafak, and several other writers for “insulting Turkishness,” has been arrested with 32 others following an investigation into a weapons cache discovered in Istanbul last year.

That investigation uncovered evidence of active plots to assassinate Pamuk, three politicians, and a prominent journalist and to stage a series of bombings in the coming year, according to reports appearing in the Turkish Press. One source, CNN Turk, has reported that Kerincsiz and twelve others have been charged with inciting people to armed revolt.

Pamuk Prosecutor Arrested, Charged in Plot, PEN American Center, January 28, 2008, seen on Bruce Sterling’s Beyond the Beyond.

I wonder how many other cases like this there are?