Stories about Feature from November, 2011
Stop Online Piracy Act: The Fight Continues
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
Brazil: Cybercrime Law Could Restrict Fundamental Rights, Internet Openness
Pending in Brazil’s House of Representatives is a proposed cybercrime law that could criminalize many ordinary online activities and that would mark an abrupt shift in Brazil’s progressive digital policy environment. The Committee on Science and Technology will vote on the bill on November 9, 2011.
Remembering Ali Abdulemam
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
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
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.
Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference brings stakeholders to the Internet freedom table
The Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, organized by Access Now and held in San Francisco late last month gathered bloggers, activists, mobile advocates, privacy advocates, corporations, technologists and many more to discuss the human rights implications of technologies today.
ICANN: Why the Registrar Accreditation Agreement Matters
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
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...