Featured stories from March 2011
Understanding Iran's Cyberpolitical Context
Since I last posted, events on the ground and online in Iran have continued to escalate. This is broadly in line with my belief that the Iranian government has decided to engage in a long-term project to silence dissent online, using both state and non-state actors, as well as to...
Muhammad Bakr Radwan: an Egyptian activist detained in Syria
On March 26 Egyptian engineer Muhammad Bakr Radwan was detained in Damascus, Syria, following Friday’s demonstrations in the country. He has been accused of espionage. Radwan is an Egyptian-American citizen who has been very active in the mobilizations in Egypt, joining demonstrators in Tahrir during the days after #Jan25 and...
Bahraini “Blogfather” Mahmood Al-Yousif Arrested
Shortly after 3am local time, prominent Bahraini blogger Mahmood al-Yousif was arrested in his home. Before leaving with police officers, the blogger tweeted, "Police here for me." His brother and son have both confirmed the arrest.
Stories from March, 2011
Liberal Jewish Blogger Under Attack
Richard Silverstein, a liberal Jewish blogger, has come under attack from right wing nationalists and religious hard liners. In his blog Tikun Olam, Silverstein has posted a statement sent to his lawyer from David Yerushalmi-who accusing him of libel. “I am reluctantly forced to revisit the statements your client, Richard...
Microsoft Compromises Users’ Privacy: No HTTPS in Arab Countries, Iran
With the ongoing protestes and violent crackdown from governments in the Middle East, compromising online security could have dire repercussions on the wellbeing of internet users in the region. Email security is a priority and HTTPS should be enabled by default. Gmail does that, while Microsoft allows users to choose to activate...
Syria: A Blogger Arrested, a Journalist Missing
Amidst a crackdown on protests in Daraa, Syria, a journalist is reported missing, while a blogger has reportedly been arrested, not long after being released for a previous arrest.
China: 130 thousand Internet cafes shut down in six years
According to the “2010 China Internet Cafe Market Report” released by the Ministry of Culture on March 17 2011, more than 130 thousand unlicensed Internet cafes had been shut down in the past six years. Apart from cracking down illegal cafes, the government has also introduced new regulations and imposed...
China: PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols blocked
Update March 22: A reader reported back via email that only some of the PPTP and L2TP protocols have been blocked and interrupted in China and he has not encountered any problem connecting with PPTP and L2TP problem in Beijing. Some users from Guangzhou pointed out that the blocking /...
Azerbaijan: Anonymous says Big Brother might be watching you
Since activists in Azerbaijan started using Facebook to coordinate and widen their activities, the authorities in the former Soviet republic are starting to keep a closer eye on social networking sites. Now, new allegations have emerged from Anonymous, the international hacking group.
Alert: Ali Abdulemam goes missing in Bahrain
We just received the following news from the Bahrain Human Rights Society alerting us about the missing of our dear friend and colleague Ali Abdulemam. Ali Abdulemam, a leading Bahraini blogger and Global Voices Advocacy author, has been arrested earlier on 4 September 2010 and released on 23 February 2011...
Uzbekistan: The Enemies of the Internet are Known
12 March was the World Day Against Cyber-Censorship. Launched by Reporters Without Borders in 2008, the initiative is intended to promote the idea of Internet without restrictions and accessible to everyone.
How Much Does Internet Access Matter?
Amidst the ongoing debate of the role of social media in revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa lies another question: To what degree does Internet access matter in determining the role of the Internet and social media in these revolts? Jillian C. York looks at different ideas about the effects of Internet penetration on the effectiveness of social media organizing.
Azerbaijan: Blowing Up in Their Facebook
Baku seems to be getting savvier about how to discredit, marginalize, or monitor online activists. This article was originally published on 9 March 2011 by Transitions Online and is used by permission.
Spanish intellectual property law and global netfreedom
Many of the challenges and threats that Egyptians, Tunisians or Libyans are facing are global and affect civil societies as a whole. Among these is the threat against the Internet as we know it and which is often taken for granted in Western countries like the US, France or Spain....
What is in name? A Lot Says Facebook
Facebook is now in the middle of scandal that has exposed the flimsiness of its no pseudonym policy. Andrea Petrou at Techeye.net says, “The complaint against the company comes from a well-known Chinese commentator – Michael Anti – who has accused it of insulting him by closing his account. He hasn't been reported...
Azerbaijan: Another activist arrested, questioned over Facebook
Following concerns that there might be an official attempt to discredit or crackdown on the use of Facebook by alternative voices in Azerbaijan comes news of the detention of yet another activist, Bakhtiyar Hajiyev.
China: Tracking mobile users’ movement
According to Beijing Morning Post on March 2 2011, China Mobile Beijing would turn 17 million mobile phone into monitoring devices. The monitoring system could detect the population flow 24 hour a day. The city science committee social development department deputy head Li GuoGuang said that they had already submitted...
Azerbaijan: As protests loom, Facebook is monitored
Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa have highlighted the potential use of online social networks for activism, but they have also added weight to existing personal and security concerns. Now, as their own day of protest draws near, online activity by prominent alternative voices in Azerbaijan appears to be monitored.
Is Urging Suicide Free Speech?
A developing case in Minnesota raises serious questions on what free speech. According to Emily Gurnon at Pioneer Press, “Former nurse William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, of Faribault has been charged with two felony counts of encouraging, advising or assisting another in committing suicide. After oral arguments Thursday morning, Rice County District...