Ethiopia remains a dangerous country in which to express dissent online. The recent conviction of a number of bloggers and journalists, combined with the country’s history of filtering critical political content online, demonstrates the restrictive nature of the country’s information environment. This blog post describes recent developments in the country and reports on the results of ONI testing conducted in September 2012.
After years spent as one of the world’s most strictly controlled information environments, the government of Burma has recently begun to open up access to previously censored online content. Recent OpenNet Initiative testing has confirmed these changes, finding a variety of opposition websites, critical blogs and foreign news sites to be accessible after years of blocking. This ONI blog post discusses recent developments in Burma and reports on the results of testing conducted in Burma in August 2012.
Online freedom of expression continues to be threatened in Vietnam, as recently proposed regulations and the ongoing detainment and harassment of bloggers combine with an already strict regime of Internet filtering to further restrict information openness. This OpenNet Initiative blog post describes these new developments and reports on the results of testing conducted in Vietnam from April to August 2012.
The Citizen Lab has analyzed recent targeted malware attacks against Tibetan organizations that share a common payload — LURK malware — and command-and-control server, as well as several other features.
OpenNet Initiative research has documented that web filtering applied by India-based ISPs is also filtering content for customers of an ISP in Oman. This “upstream filtering” is restricting access to news sites, political blogs and file sharing sites for customer’s of Omantel, who have limited opportunities for recourse. Combined with the significant filtering implemented by Omantel itself, this essentially puts users in Oman behind multiple layers of national-level filtering.
The Citizen Lab analyzes a recent targeted malware attack against the Tibetan community spoofing the June 14, 2012 resolution of the European Parliament (EP) on the human rights situation in Tibet. While such repurposing of authentic content for use as a malware delivery mechanism is not unusual, this incident raises serious questions surrounding the use of legitimate political resources for illegitimate ends.
This post is the first in a series of analyses that the Citizen Lab is preparing regarding the urgent and ongoing threat presented by information operations deployed against Tibetans and others who advocate for Tibetan rights and freedoms, including in Tibetan areas of China.
Additional evidence gathered by the Citizen Lab from Burma since the publication of Behind Blue Coat has provided further confirmation that Blue Coat’s devices are presently in use in the country.
A new report, entitled The Canadian Connection: An investigation of Syrian government and Hezbullah web hosting in Canada, continues Citizen Lab research into the intersection of the private sector, authoritarianism, and cyberspace regulation, turning our attention to a component of the Internet that does not typically receive the same amount of attention as filtering, surveillance, and computer network attack products and services: web hosting services.
Although Blue Coat has recently acknowledged the presence of their devices in Syria, this brief contributes to previous findings of devices in the country, documents additional devices in use in Syria, and identifies Blue Coat devices actively in use in Burma.