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A Syrian Man-In-The-Middle Attack against Facebook

“Yesterday we learned of reports that the Syrian Telecom Ministry had launched a man-in-the-middle attack against the HTTPS version of the Facebook site. The attack is ongoing and has been seen by users of multiple Syrian ISPs. We cannot confirm the identity of the perpetrators.

The attack is not extremely sophisticated: the certificate is invalid in user’s browsers, and raises a security warning. Unfortunately, because users see these warnings for many operational reasons that are not actual man-in-the-middle attacks, they have often learned to click through them reflexively. In this instance, doing so would allow the attackers access to and control of their Facebook account. The security warning is users’ only line of defense.”

From EFF

Most Canadians Unaware of Online Tracking: Privacy Watchdog

“Canada’s privacy watchdog said Thursday many Canadians don’t know how closely companies are tracking their online activities — much less are they providing informed consent.

“We have some serious concerns about online tracking, profiling and targeting — and the fact that many Canadians don’t know what’s happening behind their computer screens, let alone agree to it. Children — who are going online at younger and younger ages — are even less likely to understand,” Jennifer Stoddart told a privacy symposium in Toronto, where she released the final report of public consultations held last year on privacy issues in the online world.”

From Canada.com

Turkish Internet Filtering Plan ‘Unconstitutional,’ Experts Say

“A plan to require Internet users in Turkey to choose one of four content-filtering packages is unconstitutional and violates the right to freedom of expression, legal experts and civil-society groups have said.

“[Turkish authorities] look at how they can impose regulations that limit the freedom of expression on the Internet, rather than promoting this freedom,” Orhan Erinç, the chairman of the Turkish Journalists Community, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview Wednesday. He said that mentality had not changed for more than three decades, since the beginnings of radio and television broadcasting in the country.”

From Daily News

13th CCWPF Press Freedom Award Acceptance Speech by Rafal Rohozinski

World Press Freedom Day, Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom
13th CCWPF Press Freedom Award

Acceptance speech on behalf of the Citizen Lab
Rafal Rohozinski, senior scholar
National Arts Center, Ottawa, Canada.
3 May 2011

Excellency, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

It is truly an honour and a humbling moment to accept this award on behalf of the Citizen Lab.

Just under 10 years ago, Ronald Deibert founded the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Following in the footsteps of other great Canadian media theorists — Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan — Ron recognized that the impact of technology lay in the social domain. With the help and support of Janice Stein, he created a unique space — a hothouse of sorts — where engineers, mathematicians, social scientists, and economists could treat cyberspace as a giant petri dish and examine its various transformative social and technical trajectories.

Citizen Lab Wins the 2011 Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom’s Press Freedom Award

The Citizen Lab is the recipient of this year’s press freedom award of the Canadian Committee for World press Freedom (CCWPF), The 13th annual Press Freedom Award goes to a Canadian person or group who has defended or advanced the cause of freedom of expression. The Citizen Lab team, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, was selected for its ongoing dedication to free expression online through work that exposes cases of Internet censorship and espionage around the world.

From The Globe and Mail

Alarm over EU ‘Great Firewall’ proposal

“Anti-censorship campaigners compared the plan to China’s notorious system for controlling citizens’ access to blogs, news websites and social networking services.
The proposal emerged an obscure meeting of the Council of the European Union’s Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), a forum for cooperation on issues such as counter terrorism, customs and fraud.

“The Presidency of the LEWP presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace,” according to brief minutes of the meeting.”

From The Telegraph

Congratulations Psiphon!

According to Freedom House’s latest survey and analysis of thirteen Internet censorship circumvention tools, Psiphon ranks as one of the best available circumvention tools. Based on in country testing as well as technical lab testing, Psiphon was found to excel in terms of ease of use, performance, support and security. Freedom House’s technical lab testing results ranked Psiphon first amongst its peers. Congratulations to Psiphon!

Freedom House’s Leaping over the Firewall: A Review of Censorship Circumvention Tools can be found here.