Stories from 30 January 2009
Political opposition websites in North African countries, particularly in Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, are becoming a primary target of hackers. This new phenomenon of defacing opposition and dissident websites emerged first in Tunisia, where at least 14 websites and blogs were targeted between 2007 and 2008, and seems to be spreading across the region as a result of the attempt to muzzle free speech both online and offline.
Egyptian blogger Reda Abdel-Rahman (32) is freed on January 23, 2009, after being detained since last October. Reda is a social worker at a Religious Institute affiliated to Al-Azhar. The young blogger is known as a “Quranist” who rejects the Sunnah (which means “the way and the manners of the prophet Muhammad” - wikipedia) and considers the Quran as the only source of Shariaa (the body of Islamic religious law).
Since the anti-Smut campaign began in Jan 5, in less than a month, the China government has already closed down more than 1500 websites. Xiao Qiang, director of the China Digital Times, and Jack Qui, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication Department in the Chinese University of Hong Kong both...