Irene Poetranto

Articles

Aiding repression, or just doing business?

The Guelph Mercury newspaper reports that a Guelph-based tech firm called Netsweeper, which is known for making tools to control information abroad, is tightening communications at home. After giving several media interviews during its rapid rise in the burgeoning internet security sector, Netsweeper now not only refuses to speak to reporters, but also recently rejected a meeting request by Guelph MP Frank Valeriote.

Uzbekistan: Government sites hacked

Source: Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, EurasiaNet

This week Internet news sites in Uzbekistan have been blocked for unknown reasons, the independent news site fergananews.com reports.

While for the last five years, some sites devoted specificially to news from Uzbekistan, such as fergananews.com itself, uznews.net, uzmetronom.com and others have been blocked from view, this latest problem affects sites that have been accessible in the past.

David Cameron considers banning suspected rioters from social media

Source: Josh Halliday, The Guardian

David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week’s riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.

The prime minister said the government will review whether it is possible to stop suspected rioters spreading online messages, in his opening statement during a Commons debate on Thursday on the widespread civil disorder for which MPs were recalled from their summer recess.

Paper presentation by Canada Centre Visiting Research Fellow Karl Kathuria at the FOCI ’11 Workshop

On August 8, 2011, Canada Centre Visiting Research Fellow in International Broadcasting, Karl Kathuria, and a team from the Citizen Lab presented a paper titled Bypassing Internet Censorship for News Broadcasters at the first USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet (FOCI ’11) in San Francisco, California. The paper is concerned with Internet censorship as a major problem faced by news organizations.

Anonymous says it will take down Facebook on Nov. 5

Source: Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

Hacktivist group Anonymous said that it will target Facebook for a takedown on Nov. 5, aka Guy Fawkes Day.

Those claiming to be members of the group uploaded a video to YouTube in mid-July announcing the operation, which was spotted by Rosie Gray of The Village Voice on Tuesday.

Canadian embassy’s posting on Lai Changxing taken off Chinese site

Source: Mark Mackinnon, The Globe and Mail

In the slow-evolving world of diplomacy, it may be the biggest innovation since the wax seal: social media that lets Canadian diplomats go around the censors to speak directly to, and hear from, the citizens of the world’s rising superpower.

Tired of having their message telegraphed (or not) through the muddying filter of China’s official media, the Canadian Embassy in Beijing opened an account on the popular Twitter-style social networking site Sina Weibo in June 2011. Rather than waiting for the next ministerial visit before issuing a bland statement, Embassy staff now post four or five items a day on Weibo – many of them inane or irreverent, all of them in Chinese.