Building on past network measurements, legal, and policy analyses undertaken by the OpenNet Initiative, we set out to apply a mixed-methods approach to better understand the current situation. Our analysis is set in the context not only of the 2013 IGF, but amidst increasingly intense debates about free expression and access to information, and rapid technological change and development.
Global Research Network
Outputs related to the global community of practice that the Citizen Lab helps to cultivate through our Cyber Stewards Network, various fellowships, and events.
On October 22-25, 2013, Indonesia will host the eighth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the issues and policies of Internet governance. The main theme of this year’s IGF is “Building Bridges: Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development.”
This post is the first in a series that will explore online freedom of expression and the state of information controls in Indonesia in the context of their role as host of the IGF.
An Indonesian translation of this post is available here.
Terjemahan dalam bahasa Indonesia dari halaman ini tersedia disini.
Cyber Steward partner Bytes for All (B4A) has launched “Access Is My Right” — an advocacy campaign to engage Pakistani citizens on Internet censorship, privacy, and freedom of expression in the country. The campaign calls on citizens to raise awareness of information controls by sharing campaign visuals across the Internet, especially on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
In June 2013, news broke out in media outlets around the world of a secret program operated by the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) regarding the collection of information directly from several major U.S. Internet companies. The program, referred to as “PRISM”, involves data collection on a large scale from phones, streams of Internet traffic, and content stored by Internet companies. Despite denials by major Internet companies of their complicity with the NSA regarding this program, leaked reports have also indicated the agency paid millions of dollars to major technology companies to cover the costs of the program.
Recent research from The Citizen Lab has detected the presence of devices capable of surveillance on networks operated by Nigerian Internet service providers. In January 2013, Citizen Lab researchers found installations of Blue Coat Systems’ PacketShaper device on netblocks associated with IPNX ISP and Cobranet. In April 2013, Citizen Lab released “For Their Eyes Only: The Commercialization of Digital Spying,” in which researchers identified FinFisher servers on a network operated by Suburban Telecom.
In June 2013, Jordan’s Press and Publications Department initiated a ban on all Jordanian news websites that have not registered and been licensed by the government agency. 7iber was among the more than 300 news websites blocked as a result of this initiative. Since its website was blocked, 7iber has been working with lawyers and other media groups to challenge the law and has used the opportunity to raise awareness about Internet filtering and freedom of expression.
The Citizen Lab has documented a pattern of Internet filtering in Pakistan that is inconsistent and intermittent with with filtering primarily targeted at content deemed to be a threat to national security and at religious content considered blasphemous. In recent years, Twitter, Facebook, and certain pages on Flickr and Wikipedia have been periodically blocked in the country due to what was considered blasphemous content circulating on those sites. Bytes for All (B4A), has been campaigning for the online rights of Pakistani citizens and an active participant in the debate on the use of information communications technologies for sustainable development and strengthening human rights movements in the country.
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), India has launched its CIS Cybersecurity video series, a video documentary project which features interviews conducted by Laird Brown with cybersecurity stakeholders from various sectors on hotly debated aspects of cybersecurity. The project aims to encourage wider public discussion around cybersecurity issues.
In 2013, the Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) published “The Economic Cost of Cybercrime in Nigeria,” a report written by ‘Gbenga Sesan, Babatope Soremi, and Bankole Oluwafemi. The authors provide quantitative data for measuring the extent of cybercrime in Nigeria and propose recommendations for combating its influence in the country. PIN’s report is the first major study dedicated entirely toward quantitatively measuring the costs of cybercrime in Nigeria.
In June 2013, Citizen Lab released O Pakistan We Stand on Guard for Thee, a research report that reveals evidence that Internet filtering software developed by Canada-based company Netsweeper is deployed on networks operated by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL). PTCL is a formerly government-owned enterprise that currently serves as Pakistan’s largest ISP and the manager of its Internet Exchange Point. Previous research by the OpenNet Initiative indicated that Netsweeper is being used for national-level filtering in India and across countries in the Middle East and Gulf including Qatar, UAE, Yemen, India.