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.
Free Expression Online
Studies of Internet filtering, network interference, and other technologies and practices that impact freedom of expression online.
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.
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.
In response to the open call of the newly-established United Nations Working Group on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises for input regarding the Working Group’s key thematic priorities and activities, the Citizen Lab submitted its views on the urgent need for greater assessment of and guidance surrounding the surveillance and Internet filtering technology sector.
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.
An international research team, based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, has released a detailed report that tracks and analyzes the difficulties of broadcasting the news into jurisdictions that censor the Internet, including Iran and China.