Google chairman: Internet blacklists make us more like China

“Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, has strong views on legislation setting up government Internet blacklists. “I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [passing] simple solutions to complex problems,” Schmidt said during a Google conference in England today, according to the Guardian. “So, let’s whack off the DNS. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say, ‘I don’t like free speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’—that country would be China.”

Schmidt seems to have two targets in mind: the UK, where the Digital Economy Act allows for judicially ordered site blocking, and the US, where the newly introduced PROTECT IP Act hopes to monkey about with the domain name system (DNS) in order to cut off international pirate websites.”

For full original article, see here

Baidu, China sued in U.S. for Internet censorship

“Eight New York residents sued Baidu Inc. (BIDU-Q130.060.590.46%) and the Chinese government on Wednesday, accusing China’s biggest search engine of conspiring with its rulers to censor pro-democracy speech.

The eight pro-democracy activists claim violations of the U.S. Constitution and, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, the suit is the first of its type. In an unorthodox move it names not only a company but also the Chinese government as defendants.”

For full original article, see here

Tunisia: Internet Censorship Makes a Comeback

“Internet censorship is making a comeback in Tunisia, much to the annoyance of many cyber activists across the country.

During the rule of ousted Tunisian president Zein El Abideen Ben Ali, the government exercised a harsh censorship policy by blocking all web pages and websites that criticized the regime, including websites such as those of Al Jazeera, Amnesty International, WikiLeaks, YouTube, Nawaat and DailyMotion, as well as dozens of Facebook pages.”

For full original article, see here

Rafal Rohozinski and Rex Hughes on Cybercrime at the 41st St. Gallen Symposium

The St. Gallen Symposium is the world’s leading platform for dialogue on key issues in management, the entrepreneurial environment and the interfaces between business, politics and civil society.

This video presents Rafal Rohozinski and Rex Hughes’ panel on cybercrime, as well as a video of an interview with Dr. Hughes entitled “Cybersecurity: A Business with Fear” at the 41st St. Gallen Symposium.

Burma Internet cafes ban CDs, USB drives

“Cyber café customers will no longer be allowed to use external drives in computers, according to a new regulation issued by Burma’s communications ministry that further tightens the clamp on the country’s growing population of internet users.

The ban on CDs, USB sticks and floppy drives comes two months after the government prohibited the use of services like Skype and VZOchat that allow internet users to make free or cheap international phone calls.”

From Democratic Voice of Burma

Lahore High Court orders ban on Facebook over caricatures

“Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Friday directed the government to block the social networking websites committing desecration of the Holy Prophet (SAW) by any means.

The chief justice also directed the government to take measure in this regard while following the detailed judgment passed on a petition earlier moved by the Islamic Lawyers Forum. The petitioner was aggrieved of the announcement made by ‘Facebook’ last year to hold a competition of drawing caricatures, cartoons of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in a bid to desecrate the Holy Prophet (SAW) and the petitioner pleaded for putting a permanent ban on the website throughout the country.”

From Newsline

EVENT: Tweeting the Arab Revolutions

Tweeting the Arab Revolutions

Brian Stewart in Discussion With Three Digital Activists Who Led the Arab Awakening

Join us as one of Canada’s most respected foreign correspondents speaks with three bloggers and activists about how the Arab Awakening is changing journalism, activism and geopolitics.

Date: 6:30pm, Thursday, May 26, 2011
Place: Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place
Directions: http://www.munkschool.utoronto.ca/location/

Full details can be found here.

Canada Moves Up Malware ‘Badness’ List

Criminal networks that use the Internet to facilitate their scams are finding a virtual haven in Canada, according to a new study.

According to Websense, a company that develops software for content filtering, – Canada now ranks as the sixth most likely country to host servers running malicious programs, up from 13th the year before.

Rafal Rohozinski, CEO of the SecDev Group and Senior Fellow at the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies points out in this article that Ottawa has been dragging its feet on cyber security. The federal government announced its strategy only last year, long after other G8 countries began investing heavily in tackling the problem, partly because successive minority governments had made the esoteric subject of cyber security a non-starter of an issue in Canada. The new Conservative majority government now has the clout to tackle the issue, if it chooses to do so, Mr. Rohozinski said.

From The Globe and Mail

Lahore High Court to Consider Permanent Ban on Facebook

“In Pakistan, blanket bans and censorship have been a regular feature. Since 2006, there have been instances where YouTube has been blocked, and more recently, Facebook. While the pretext is national security, the protection of Islam or the interest of the greater good, political motives have almost always been behind these acts.

There were many critics of those lobbying against the ban on Facebook ban in May 2010, the constant criticism being: It’s just a ban on Facebook, get over it. But actually, it wasn’t “just a ban.” It was about how we react to blasphemy, it was about the prevalent tendency to lynch others for what they say without hearing them out properly, without verifying, without giving second chances. It was about political appeasement, the use of religion for political purposes, and it was about the unconstitutional overstepping of authority by state institutions and departments. So it was not just about Facebook.”

From Newsline

Amid Uprisings, Cyberattacks in Syria

“Amid popular uprisings in Syria, Facebook users in the country logging into the secure HTTPS version of the social networking site are finding themselves to be the targets of an ongoing man-in-the-middle attack detected on various Internet service providers. Although it is unclear who is behind the attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation links the attack to allegations that the Syrian Telecom Ministry, under the auspices of the Syrian government, is the perpetrator. It is suspected that the Ministry has replaced Facebook’s security certificate with a fake unsigned one. In this attack, users’ browsers propagate a SSL error on the Facebook Web site because the certificate is not trusted by the browser. Users may ignore the warning by clicking through it, and in doing so, allowing the attacker to access their Facebook account and control and collect information. Some suspect that this is a ruse by Syrian authorities to spy on activists using the site to coordinate protests.”

From Information Warfare Monitor