Stories about Feature from April, 2011
Syrian uprisings and official vs. decentralized communications
The world looks at Syria for the first time in decades, while hundreds of thousands of citizens demonstrate against the regime that has ruled the country for almost 50 years. While hundreds of protesters were killed according to many reports, the official version shows quite a different picture. The gap...
MENA Journalists & Cyber Activists: In the Line of Fire
From Morocco to Bahrain, everyday people have taken on the cast iron hold of dictatorships and absolute monarchies resulting in an extraordinary collective awakening that has paved the way for epochal change in the region. The youth movement, which lies at the core of the uprisings, continues to play a prominent role in the pro-democracy and pro-reform demonstrations, which have swept through the region, unabated by government clampdowns or concessions.
Twitter Spambots: An Emerging Tactic for Silencing Speech
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...
The US government forcing twitter to hand over personal data on its users.
Adapted from a RWB article. The US Department of Justice is so determined to prosecute WikiLeaks and its leading supporters. “After exerting pressure on Paypal, Visa, MasterCard and Amazon, the US government is now stepping up its harassment of WikiLeaks and its supporters,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The federal government...
US National Science Foundation Blocking GV Advocacy
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...
Bahrain: Pro-Government Activists are Blogging too
Demands for change in Bahrain and recent incidents of violence against those demanding reform is being chronicled by number of bloggers. They present struggle within the country and also how external forces are influencing events. Adding another dimension to the discussion, pro-government and pro-establishment bloggers are also making their side heard online. Suhail...
Spam Bots Flooding Twitter to Drown Info About #Syria Protests [Updated]
After recent protests demanding freedom and democracy in Syria and the regime's brutal crackdown started, information warfare has been taking place on twitter. This post attempts to analyze the proliferation of twitter spams bots especially designed to flood the #Syria hash tag on twitter in order to make information about the events harder to find, and stop the conversation about them.
Over the Firewall and into the Fire
The Freedom House report Leaping over the Firewall is a new report designed to help users understand, evaluate and select a tool or series of tools for security, privacy and most importantly, for circumventing Internet censorship. As a long time developer with The Tor Project and as a member of the circumvention community, I feel that it is important to set the record straight about a number of issues. My motivation for writing this response is to inform readers of the serious concerns that many people, myself included, have about the recent Freedom House report. I am always pleased to see more analysis of censorship circumvention and Internet security tools, but I have concerns about this report’s methodologies and resulting conclusions. The report in its current form could be dangerous to the users it aims to help.
Egypt: Blogger Sentenced to 3 Years for Insulting the Military
Along the many years where the former president Hosni Mubarak ruled the country we didn’t witness large scale of cases where a blogger gets jailed for a blog-post. The first case in Egypt was in 2007 when Kareem Amer was sentenced for 4 years in jail based on blog-posts, he was charged for insulting Islam and Mubarak.
Blogger Release in Azerbaijan: Forgotten Human Rights Crisis Unfolds at Council of Europe’s Doorstep
Inspired by pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, a recent wave of protests in Azerbaijan has resulted in scores of bloggers, cyber activists, journalists, civil society activists and opposition political party members harassed, arrested and beaten.
China: A Typical Online Political Harassment
Not only do Chinese dissidents and human rights activists face political prosecution from the government, they are also subjected to daily harassment from the so-called 50 cent party. Tsering Woser (@degewa) is a Tibetan poet and writer in China. She has been very outspoken in criticizing Chinese government policy on...