Tehran Casts A Cold Eye Over U.S. Shadow Internet Efforts

Source: Radio Free Europe

Iran has warned the United States over efforts to deploy shadow Internet services in repressive countries such as the Persian Gulf state, where the Internet is heavily censored, and said it would lead to a backlash against the U.S.

The global effort by the Obama administration to circumvent Internet censorship was reported on June 12 by the New York Times:

The New York Times story was picked up and posted on many Iranian news websites who described it as a “psychological operation” by the Obama administration to create unrest and topple its adversaries.

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Hacker ‘breach-fest’ signal of culture shift: experts

Source: Emily Chung, CBC News

“The rash of cyberattacks on Sony, Citi Group, the International Monetary Fund and other large corporate and government entities are linked to demographic changes among internet users, cybersecurity researchers say.

In particular, they say, these attacks tend to be the work of a new internet generation with different values than those who created the internet in the first place.

“There is an underlying culture shift happening right now,” said Ron Deibert, director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the the Univeristy of Toronto, while speaking to security experts in Toronto Tuesday.

His colleague Rafal Rohozinksi, CEO of the SecDev Group, believes the attacks mark the coming of age of people who grew up with the internet and are now becoming interested in political issues.

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Guelph-based software censors the Internet in the Middle East

Web-filtering software developed in Canada is being used in the Middle East to censor the Internet, according to the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.

Netsweeper Inc., a leading developer of content-filtering software based in Guelph, lists telecommunications companies in Yemen, Qatar and United Arab Emirates among its foreign clients.

According to the company’s promotional material, its software blocks websites using a “list of 90+ categories to meet government rules and regulations — based on social, religious or political ideals.”

“It’s no doubt a great market opportunity for them,” said Ronald Deibert, who heads the Citizen Lab, which examines human rights in the digital era, at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

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Inside the US-Anglo-French plan to civilize the Internet

Source: Nate Anderson, Ars Technica

Get ready for international Internet regulation; top leaders from the US, UK, and France are making increasingly public statements about their plans to draft new rules that will make the ‘Net more secure and will crack down on copyright infringers.

Such discussions have been ongoing for years, but in dilatory and fragmented fashion. Hague now wants to formalize and accelerate the discussions—”we need to get the ball rolling faster!”

The goal is nothing less than “to discuss norms of acceptable behaviour in cyber-space” and “bringing countries together to explore mechanisms for giving such standards real political and diplomatic weight.”

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Syria Uses Cyber Warfare to Attack Pro-Democracy Supporters

Source: Jim Crogan, Fox News

“The security forces of President Bashar Assad has moved ahead on multiple fronts. An estimated 10,000 people have been arrested and there are reports that some dissidents have been tortured to reveal their Facebook passwords. Foreign journalists have been banned from entering the country and access to the Internet and the mobile phone network has been curtailed.

Meanwhile, a shadowy group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has orchestrated an array of cyber attacks in three key areas: spamming popular Facebook pages, such as President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of State, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Oprah Winfrey with pro-Assad propaganda; defacement attacks against Syrian opposition group websites, and defacement of Western websites.

“It’s the first case of an open, organized and orchestrated pro-government web attack group with a public presence on a national network in the Arab world,” explained Helmi Noman, a senior researcher with the OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative partnership between the Citizen Lab inside the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, the SecDev Group in Ottawa and the Berkman Center at Harvard University.”

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New internet security law to be issued within 3 months

Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has said it is about to introduce a new internet security bill that would be submitted to the next parliament or the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for approval.

Yasser al-Qady, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), said the bill would be ready within three months. His statement was made on the sidelines of a meeting by communication minister Maged Othman with a delegation of US internet companies on Wednesday.

Qadi said the new bill conforms to international laws, and will have the effect of incorporating Egypt into an international system for internet security.

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Anonymous Hacks Indian Site in Fight Against Corruption

Source: John Ribeiro, IDG News

Hacker group Anonymous has come out in support of a civil movement against corruption in India by hacking one of the websites of a government IT organization.

Until now a large number of the hacks of websites in India were part of an ongoing cyber war between Indian and Pakistani hacker groups.

Anonymous put up its logo and a message for the country’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the website of the National Informatics Center according to The Hacker News. The page could not be accessed by Tuesday, but a cache of it on Google Search confirmed that it had been defaced by Anonymous.

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Hackers launch fresh attacks on Bahrain websites

Hackers have launched a fresh series of attacks on government websites after the country was granted the right to stage the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Officials say cyber criminals in Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the support of local groups, have stepped up a campaign to spread anti-government propaganda.

The Northern Governorate website became the latest to be hacked yesterday less than 24 hours after the official government tourism website was targeted.

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China increases Internet control, takes down hundreds of websites

China’s government is coming out with new measures to control the ability of citizens to acquire domains and setup personal sites, and to block hundreds of sites that offer illegal downloads of music, films, and video games.

In what appears to be another upgrade of the government’s already strict control of the Internet, Chinese authorities contest that the stricter controls are intended to protect children from pornography, limit piracy, and to make it hard to perpetuate Internet scams.

Under the new controls, more than 700 pornographic and copyright infringing websites have been shut down. Individuals have also been banned from registering domain names ending in .cn, which is now now limited to registered businesses in China.

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China: Internet Censorship Stepped Up In Inner Mongolia

Reporters Without Borders has learned that more websites in Inner Mongolia are being censored by the Chinese authorities, who are now using more insidious and less visible methods than just blocking a site. They are leaving certain personal blogs, forums and instant messaging services accessible but are making it impossible to post a message.

As a result, websites such as Ulaaq Internet Bar seem at first sight to be operational but are in practice completely unusable. Programmes such as theBoljoo instant messaging service have been completely censored since 30 May while the Baidu search engine continues to censor Chinese word strings such as “demonstrations in Inner Mongolia.”

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its appeal to the Chinese authorities to end all forms of censorship.

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