A roundup of cyber news from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This week’s post includes updates on Syria, use of Internet technology in Tunisia to advance freedom, blogger arrests, and social media news.
Posts tagged “Bahrain”
A roundup of cyber news from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This week’s post covers media crackdowns in Sudan, cyber defense preparation in Iran, the release of a human rights activist in Bahrain, news from Syria and post-election Egypt, as well as updates on social media policing in the region.
Source: Nokia Siemens Networks
An article from Bloomberg published on 23 August 2011 has linked technology, supplied by a business that was part of Nokia Siemens Networks between April 2007 and March 2009, with human rights abuses in Bahrain. The article alleges that a monitoring center was supplied by a Siemens business that subsequently became part of Nokia Siemens Networks when it was formed in 2007. Nokia Siemens Networks subsequently divested this monitoring center business in March 2009 and no longer provides this technology to any country.
Computers loaded with Western-made surveillance software generated the transcripts wielded in the interrogations described by Al Khanjar and scores of other detainees whose similar treatment was tracked by rights activists, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue. The spy gear in Bahrain was sold by Siemens AG (SIE), and maintained by Nokia Siemens Networks and NSN’s divested unit, Trovicor GmbH, according to two people whose positions at the companies gave them direct knowledge of the installations. Both requested anonymity because they have signed nondisclosure agreements. The sale and maintenance contracts were also confirmed by Ben Roome, a Nokia Siemens spokesman based in Farnborough, England.
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.
For full original article, see here
Today, it was reported by Renesys that beginning at 3:35 UTC and in the course of an hour and a half, two-thirds of Syrian networks had become disconnected from the global Internet.
This latest Internet black out is an example of just-in-time blocking—a phenomenon in which access to content and information communication technologies are blocked in response to sensitive political situations when the technology and content may have the greatest potential impact. It is suspected that the severing of Syria’s Internet is in direct response to the intensification of revolts this week, sparked in part by the death and torture of 13 year old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, as well as in memory of at least 50 other children killed during the protests. This action follows other MENA states severing access in reaction to protest on ground with Egypt shutting down national connectivity on January 28, 2011 and access blockages in Libya and Bahrain in February. For further analysis, see today’s OpenNet Initiative blogpost.
“As protests have erupted in Bahrain over the last several days, the government has severely restricted the access of its citizens to the Internet, new data from an organization that monitors Internet traffic strongly suggests.
The data, collected by Arbor Networks, is the first quantitative confirmation that Internet traffic into and out of Bahrain has suffered an anomalous drop over the past days.”
From The New York Times
“In an expected repeat of the January internet and electronic communication blockade in Egypt, Iranian authorities have begun censorship by disrupting mobile phone services and slowing down broadband speed in the major cities.
Following the outbreak of the Opposition-fueled pro-democracy demonstrations in Tehran, pro-opposition websites have been blocked. The anti-government movement began in Iran on Monday, when thousands of supporters of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi took to the streets.
The anti-government dissidents have also been forced to compromise on electronic communication as mobile-phone and text message services stand disrupted.”
“DUBAI — A Facebook page urging ‘revolt’ in Bahrain replicating similar calls elsewhere in the Arab world had by Tuesday amassed more than 6,000 “likes” on the social networking site.
‘This is your chance to open the door for political and standard of living reforms, especially with the changes going on now in the Middle East. We will all chant ‘The people want to reform the regime’ on February 14,’ a post said.”