· November, 2011

Stories about TOPICS from November, 2011

Stop Online Piracy Act: The Fight Continues

  29 November 2011

A recent hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), companies and organizations that oppose the bill were branded as “pro-pirates.” But civic activists and law professionals have stressed it would give corporations unprecedented power to censor almost any site on the internet, thereby stifling free speech online.

UAE: Jail Sentences for Five Activists

  28 November 2011

  Update 1 [28 Nov 2011/1 PM GMT]: The day after the court decisions were made, Attorney Mohammed al-Roken told The Associated Press the public prosecutor’s office confirmed President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s pardon of the five activists as the country celebrates its national day.   Last April, Five...

Netizen Report: Bullets and Pepper Spray Edition

  24 November 2011

Today is the International Day to End Impunity, honoring those who have been killed for exercising their right to free speech. Now that everybody can commit journalism on the Internet, any citizen in the world can end up on the list unless we fight to defend our rights against the many who want to silence us. Read on for a roundup on news about the latest power struggles between citizens, governments and corporations on the Internet.

Northern Exposure: Unmasking Online Spying in Canada

  22 November 2011

The Canadian national anthem proudly honors “The True North strong and free!” Yet Canadians face an imminent round of frightening online spy proposals that threaten long held civil liberties and privacy rights. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has insisted that he won’t budge in his support of online spying legislation despite heavy criticism from privacy watchdogs.

China: Father of GFW on Internet Sovereignty

  21 November 2011

Fang Binxing, known as the “father of China’s Great Firewall,” recently recently made a speech on “The future of Internet security” which justifies the development of national network or national intranet by stressing the rights to Internet Sovereignty. Since Fang Binxing has great influence on the development of Internet infrastructure...

US and European firms help Syrian regime spy on citizens

  15 November 2011

To track and surveil citizens online, repressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa have relied on Western technology for years. US company BlueCoat has been accused for months of providing the Assads with products for online crackdown, and the firm finally acknowledged that the Syrian regime has been...

China: Sina Weibo's Warning to DeutscheWelle

  14 November 2011

DeutscheWelle's official Sina Weibo account has been forced to “re-incarnate” again in November 13, 2011. The deletion of user account is a punishment mechanism by Sina Weibo to those who have posted “sensitive topic”. If the user insists to make its presence in Weibo, s/he has to open a new...

Remembering Ali Abdulemam

  7 November 2011

To know the Arab blogosphere, you need to know Ali Abdulemam, the Bahraini blogger who spent more time in jail than in blogging in the past year. He is one of the fathers of Arab blogging and solely called the godfather of blogging in Bahrain as he was the founder of Bahrain Online, a forum that the regime blocked in 2002.

Netizen Report: Transparency Edition

  7 November 2011

This installment of the bi-monthly Netizen Report reviews latest developments in the power game between citizens, governments and companies. We begin with applause for Google's latest Transparency Report, then overview the landscape of Internet governance fights, surveillance and censorship outrages, plus a few heart-warming developments as well.

Egypt: Military Court Refuses Alaa Abdel Fattah's Appeal

  6 November 2011

An appeal filed by Egypt’s veteran blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah for his release pending investigation has been denied (Nov. 3) by a Cairo military court. Abdel Fattah was detained on October 30 for 15 days after refusing to be interrogated by a military court, and insisting on his right to be investigated before a civilian court.

ICANN: Why the Registrar Accreditation Agreement Matters

  5 November 2011

Law enforcement demands to domain name registrars were a recurring theme of the 42nd ICANN public meeting, concluded last week in Dakar. This is an important debate because domain names are often tools of individuals' and groups' online speech. Thus they can be a chokepoint for censorship and suppression of speech.

Kuwait: More Twitter Users Arrested

  4 November 2011

2011 has been the year of defeat for online free speech in Kuwait as netizens have never been harassed as often as they have been in the past few months. Since last April, three netizens were arrested and sentenced to jail for expressing their opinions online and the arrests’ wave...

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