Jillian C. York is a writer and activist who serves as Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and on the board of Global Voices.
Latest posts by Jillian York
Tunisia and Bahrain Block Individual Twitter Pages
First, governments blocked Blogspot. Then they blocked Facebook, and then Twitter. And just when technophiles all over the globe started groaning, a couple of governments got a bit wiser to social media and, rather than block the entire platform for the transgressions of one user, began blocking individual accounts instead....
Algeria Joins Filtering Fray
Algeria is the latest Arab country to join the ranks of Internet filterers, leaving only Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Lebanon without widespread filtering. The first report of a blocked site came about a week ago, when users on Twitter reported www.rachad.org, the site of political movement Mouvement Rachad to be blocked. The sites have since been reported to Herdict.
Moroccan Blogger, Internet Cafe Owner, Sentenced
On Monday, December 14, Moroccan blogger Bashir Hazzam (also spelled Hazem, Hazzem) and Internet cafe owner Abdullah Boukhou were sentenced, to four months and one year, respectively, in a Goulmim court. Hazzam was sentenced for “spreading false information harmful to the kingdom's image on human rights,” while Boukhou's sentence was...
Moroccan Blogger Bashir Hazem Arrested
Moroccan blogger Bashir Hazem was arrested on December 8, 2009 following a protest in Tarjijt, during which students clashed with security forces, after posting a press release about the clash on his blog. He has been interrogated about his blogging, specifically his most recent post, which contained the signatures of a committee of arrested students. He faces trial on December 14, 2009.
Jacob Appelbaum Presents Tor at Arab Bloggers Workshop 2009
The second annual Arab Bloggers Workshop is currently taking place in Beirut, Lebanon (see other blog posts here); the Workshop consists of various presentations and smaller workshops on topics ranging from "Arab techies" to online campaigns to anonymity and circumvention technologies. Today, Jacob Appelbaum (@ioerror on Twitter)
Morocco: Press Freedoms Backsliding
2009 has not been a good year for press freedom in Morocco, and over the past few months, actions against journalists seem to be escalating. Although journalists are aware of the country's press law – which forbids criticism of the royal family, Islam, and the Western Sahara – many choose...
Morocco: Human Rights Activist Jailed for Whistleblowing
A human rights activist critical of Moroccan drug policies was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in prison. Chakib Al Khayari's sentence was called “a stark reminder of Morocco's tenuous and uneven progress on human rights” by Human Rights Watch. As President of the Association for Human Rights in the...
OpenNet Initiative Releases Results on Filtering in Asia
From the Great Firewall to the Myanmar Wide Web, Asia is well-known for its practices in Internet filtering. China has long taken the lead in blocking Web sites, filtering sites across the spectrum – from social to political content, pornography to Internet tools. The OpenNet Initiative (full disclosure: I'm involved)...
LinkedIn Restores Services to Syrian Users
Last week, Global Voices Advocacy broke the news that Syrian users had been cut off from LinkedIn's services. The business-oriented social networking site had stated in e-mails to several of its users that, "Under the User Agreement, LinkedIn Users warrant that they are not prohibited from receiving U.S. origin products, including services or software. As such, and as a matter of corporate policy, we do not allow member accounts or access to our site from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria."
Announcing Herdict Web: Report Inaccessibility Now!
Global Voices Advocacy is proud to announce the launch of Herdict Web. Herdict Web is a natural extension of The OpenNet Initiative; but whereas ONI views Internet filtering through an academic lens, Herdict Web crowdsources reports from users to discover, in real time, what users around the world are experiencing...
Bahrain and Qatar: Disappearing the Internet
It would seem that another crackdown on Internet freedoms is occurring in the Middle East. Once thought to be the last bastion of free speech, the Internet has recently been subjected to a spate of blockings; and while censorship is no new thing to the region, the willingness of countries such as Bahrain and Qatar to adopt strict Internet policies akin to those in neighboring Saudi Arabia has created a sense of alarm amongst the online community.
Three Easy Steps to Block Sites in Turkey
In a clear instance of vexatious litigation, a Turkish court has blocked the Web site of prominent evolutionist Richard Dawkins following complaints from Islamic creationist and author Adnan Oktar. Oktar, who writes under the nom de plume Harun Yahya, filed the complaint last week; when Turkish Internet users now attempt to access Dawkins’ site, they are presented with a message that reads: ‘access to this site has been suspended in accordance with a court decision’.
Morocco: Understanding Mohammed Raji's Sentence
Less than a year ago, Global Voices noted Morocco as the “liveliest free speech zone in Muslim North Africa.” It would not be a stretch to say that Morocco ranks among the best for free speech in the entire Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. And yet, journalists are all too...
Morocco: Blogger Arrested, Sentenced Immediately
This morning, it was reported by the electronic news site Hespress [ar] that blogger Mohammed Raji was arrested in his home in Agadir. An article that Raji had posted on Hespress [ar] is said to be the source of the conflict, though neither that fact nor Raji's arrest have been confirmed outside of the blogosphere. This afternoon it was reported that Raji had already been tried and sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of MAD 5,000.
GV Summit: Day One a Success!
The first day of the Global Voices 2008 Summit in Budapest, Hungary was a wild success, as far as we can see (obviously we can't know all of the implications this early in the game). The morning started with an introduction from Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon,
Morocco: Fouad Mourtada Update
Fouad Mourtada probably never guessed he’d become a household name. Arrested on February 5 and sentenced on February 22 to three years in prison (plus a $1,000 fine) for creating a Facebook profile impersonating Morocco’s Prince Moulay Rachid, Mourtada is now famous, but unfortunately, that fame has come at an...
Morocco: No Justice for Fouad Mourtada
Is creating a Facebook profile of a famous entity a crime? Although it's been done to nearly every major celebrity (a quick search for “George W. Bush” garners over 500 results), when Fouad Mourtada chose to mimic Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco, he was committing a serious crime. As Sami...
Morocco: Censorship Update
2006 was a rough year for Moroccan internet freedoms, with several sites being blocked; 2007 wasn't much better with sites that were previously open becoming only sporadically accessible. Moi, dans tous mes états (fr) summarized freedom of internet (as well as other forms of media) in a recent post: A...