Latest posts by Jillian York

For Bloggers at Risk: Creating a Contingency Plan

  22 December 2011

In 2011, we have witnessed the incredible power of bloggers and social media users capturing the world’s attention through their activism. At the same time, regimes appear to be quickening the pace of their cat-and-mouse game with netizens, cracking down on speech through the use of surveillance, censorship, and the persecution and detention of bloggers. Aware of the risks they face, some bloggers have created contingency plans to protect themselves and contacts in the event of an arrest. Here are some suggestions.

Brazil: 1º Encontro Mundial de Blogueiros (First World Bloggers’ Conference)

  30 October 2011

This week a blogger conference–dubbed the 1º Encontro Mundial de Blogueiros (or First World Bloggers’ Conference)–is taking place in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.  Sponsored by Brazilian companies Petrobras and Sanepar, as well as the Itaipu hydroelectric dam, the conference attendees are from all over the world, with significant representation from...

Global Voices at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Summit

  24 October 2011

This week, San Francisco will play host to the Silicon Valley Human Rights Summit or RightsCon, a conference at which several members and friends of the Global Voices community will be speaking.  The conference, hosted by digital human rights group Access, brings together companies from Silicon Valley and beyond alongside...

Twitter Spambots: An Emerging Tactic for Silencing Speech

22 April 2011

On April 18, Anas Qtiesh wrote about spambots targeting the #Syria hashtag in an effort to drown out speech calling for, or reporting on, protests.  While this specific case has received an abundance of attention, on Al Jazeera, Fast Company, and elsewhere, it is representative of a larger problem on...

US National Science Foundation Blocking GV Advocacy

  21 April 2011

Recently, the Global Voices  team learned that this site, https://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org, is blocked at the headquarters of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Washington, D.C.  As is common practice for many companies and organizations, the NSF uses filtering software to block a number of websites.  Such filtering typically targets pornography and...

Bahraini “Blogfather” Mahmood Al-Yousif Arrested

  30 March 2011

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.

How Much Does Internet Access Matter?

  10 March 2011

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.

Bahrain Blocks YouTube Pages and More

  14 February 2011

In the midst of protests in Bahrain's capital of Manama that resulted in over 200 arrests and at least one death, evidence suggests that the government has clamped down on the Web, blocking access to specific YouTube pages and videos as well as, possibly, video live-streaming site Bambuser.com. The blocked...

Nepal: Journalist Attacked for International Reporting

  24 December 2010

Nepalese journalist Shreedeep Rayamajhi is an accomplished blogger and journalist, writing for international news organizations such as GroundReport and CNN's iReport.  Rayamajhi writes for prestigious local publications as well, such as the Nepal Travellers Publication, and works for a US-based nonprofit in Kathmandu. Rayamajhi began receiving anonymous e-mail threats for...

YouTube adds HTTPS; Syrians, Tunisians gain access, but…!

  1 December 2010

HTTPS has been in the news quite a bit lately; first, because of Firesheep, a program that allows users on open WiFi networks to sniff cookies and effectively hijack users’ social networking connections if they're not using HTTPS.  As a result, a campaign has emerged to call on companies to...

Turkey Unblocks YouTube, but Will Ban Be Short-Lived?

  2 November 2010

YouTube has been banned in Turkey since 2007. Now, for the first time in two years, the popular video-sharing site is once again accessible in Turkey. Since the site was unblocked, however, videos that were the initial impetus for the censorship have been restored. Will the unblocking be short-lived or will Turkey stand by this step toward Internet freedom?

Facebook Responds to Activists

12 August 2010

I’ve been writing about Facebook woes for nearly four months, so imagine my surprise yesterday when I received an e-mail from a Facebook staffer in response to my blog posts. Since I don’t have said staffer’s express permission to use his name or post his e-mail in its entirety, I will instead post the most remarkable excerpts with my own notes.

Facebook: Interested in Palestine? Not anymore.

  7 May 2010

When Facebook rolled out its latest feature, “Connections,” in April 2010, many users were confused by the changes. The opt-in feature, intended to create a broader sense of community around user interests, converts a user's listed interests, books, movies, and network into “likes,” linking the user to the community page...

Facebook Deactivations

  8 April 2010

This post originally appeared on Jillian C. York's blog. Over the course of the past week, I've gotten reports from a number of people whose personal Facebook pages have been removed or deleted from the Facebook platform. At first, it was a male friend in Morocco. Then a female, Moroccan...

Facebook Removes Moroccan Secularist Group and its Founder

14 March 2010

Note: The group has once again become accessible after several days, as pointed out in the comments.  El Ghazzali created a new profile for himself, and was able to do so without incident. Facebook did not respond to any requests for explanation. Over the past few years, Facebook has come...

YouTube Bans Tunisian Site Nawaat from Uploading Videos

  16 February 2010

Yesterday, Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia, who is also co-founder of the Tunisian news site Nawaat, reported that Nawaat was no longer able to upload YouTube videos to their site, after YouTube staff determined that a video they were trying to upload contained “objectionable content.”  Ben Gharbia posted the message...

SourceForge Removes Blanket Block

  8 February 2010

In late January, on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech on Net freedom, open source community SourceForge blocked access to users from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea, in an effort to keep in line with U.S. Treasury export restrictions on those countries. On Sunday, SourceForge announced that they had revoked the ban, unveiling their new strategy for complying with U.S. law.

Mauritanian Editor Hanevy Ould Dahah Remains Detained

  15 January 2010

In June of 2009, Global Voices Advocacy was the first to report that Mauritanian editor Hanevy Ould Dahah, who runs leftist site Taqadoumy, had been arrested over a comment left on the site. Ould Dahah, sentenced to 6 months in prison, should have been released on December 24, however, on...