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Citizen Lab Fellows Tim Maurer and Camino Kavanagh on the 2013 Seoul Conference on Cyberspace

Citizen Lab research fellows Tim Maurer and Camino Kavanagh report back from the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace. This year participants hosted by the South Korean government included some 43 ministers and vice-ministers as well as delegates from some 87 countries — the highest number yet, making it one of the most high profile international conferences on cyberspace policy to date.

Canadian Software Used to Censor Web Abroad

In this article, CTV News reports on the role of Western companies in promoting censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, it looks at Netsweeper Inc., a Canada-based developer of content filtering software, and its role in providing governments in Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates with tools to filter online content.

Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, told CTV News that the recent controversy surrounding the Canadian company demonstrates that the Canadian federal government needs to take a clear position on content filtering, and within this, develop a clear foreign policy for cyberspace. For example, Deibert suggests that the Canadian government introduce legislation which makes it “illegal for Canadian companies to filter content in countries that violate the freedoms outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” In essence, “take a major international treaty of the 20th century, and apply it in a decidedly 21st century context.”

Deibert said that Canada should take on a leadership role on cyber policy “in international forums to spotlight and develop a kind of normative agreement that is consistent with the values we hold as a country.”

For the full article see here.

Russian LiveJournal users fear election crackdown

Source: Olga Khrustaleva, Moscow News

The biggest-ever hack attack on LiveJournal, the world’s biggest blogging network, and its prominent opposition voices, has prompted bloggers to fear a new wave of shut-offs closer to the elections.

Last week, from Monday to Friday, a massive series of DDoS attacks, believed to emanate from computers in Latin America, hit LiveJournal’s Qwest and Verizon servers – hitting the network’s most prominent anti-government critics, including anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.

The bloggers are hitting back, however, accusing authorities of wanting to quieten opposition in the run-up to the elections – but insisting the clampdown would be unsuccessful.

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British Telecom ordered to blacklist Usenet search engine

Source: Timothy Lee, Ars Technica

A judge has ordered British Telecom to begin blocking its subscribers from accessing Newzbin2, a members-only usenet search engine that is heavily used for copyright infringement. The mandated blocking is modeled on the Cleanfeed filtering system currently used to block alleged child pornography.

The ruling represents a first step toward broader use of Internet filtering as a tool for blocking copyright infringement in the UK. “The Studios have made it clear that this is a test case,” the judge wrote. “If they are successful in obtaining an order against BT, then they intend to seek similar orders against all the other significant ISPs in the UK.”

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Internet filters will protect kids: Arınç

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

The recent deadly attacks in Norway demonstrate the necessity of the Turkish government’s plans to institute an Internet filtering system in August, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said Thursday.

According to Arınç, the confessed perpetrator of the massacre in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, acquired the know-how to build bombs and use guns through the Internet.

“Now this villain [Brevik] says he learned about how to manufacture a bomb by searching on Google for weeks. Let them [filtering opponents] think once more about whether sites that give practical [instructions] on how to manufacture a bomb, [set] a landmine [or] blow up a bridge have any use for humanity after the deaths of [76] people in Norway,” Arınç said during a commencement ceremony held by the North Aegean Journalists Society in the northwestern province of Balıkesir.

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Justice minister wants more internet monitoring

Source: The Local

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga wants to expand the government’s ability to monitor people’s online activities. The plans have been harshly criticized by other politicians and the internet sector.

Sommaruga would like to amend Switzerland’s Post and Telephone Monitoring Act (VÜPF), according to the Thursday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. The act allows authorities to listen in on telephone conversations and e-mail communications when the government feels it is justified.

But if the justice minister has her way, telecoms companies and internet service providers would be able, if asked by the government, to follow all the online activities of a suspected person in real time, meaning they could virtually look over someone’s shoulder as he or she chatted online, performed a Google search or watched a video on YouTube.

In the wake of the killings in Norway, several European governments have expressed the desire to toughen up their own Internet surveillance rules. But in the Swiss case, Sommaruga unveiled her plan in June, weeks before Anders Behring Breivik massacred around 76 mostly young people.

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Websites on illegal downloads to be banned

Source: Elin Yunita Kristanti and Syahrul Ansyari, VivaNews

The government through Information and Communication Minister Tifatul Sembiring is planning to block music or movie websites offering free downloads which can be easily found in the internet.

“I’m expecting innovators and the industry to work hand in hand in an effort to produce phenomenal works. I think it’s a sin for the government to abandon creation of its people. I don’t wanna be a sinner. So, a strategy is needed,” said Tifatul today.

In addition to the possible ban, Tifatul explained, the perpetrators of illegal downloading could also face a penalty of 9-year imprisonment, or Rp3 billion of fine, according to Article 25 of Electronic Information and Transaction Law. Thus, the general public need to be more careful.

For full original article, see here