In this article, CTV News reports on the role of Western companies in promoting censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, it looks at Netsweeper Inc., a Canada-based developer of content filtering software, and its role in providing governments in Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates with tools to filter online content.
Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, told CTV News that the recent controversy surrounding the Canadian company demonstrates that the Canadian federal government needs to take a clear position on content filtering, and within this, develop a clear foreign policy for cyberspace. For example, Deibert suggests that the Canadian government introduce legislation which makes it “illegal for Canadian companies to filter content in countries that violate the freedoms outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” In essence, “take a major international treaty of the 20th century, and apply it in a decidedly 21st century context.”
Deibert said that Canada should take on a leadership role on cyber policy “in international forums to spotlight and develop a kind of normative agreement that is consistent with the values we hold as a country.”
For the full article see here.
Posts tagged “Blackberry”
“Reporters Without Borders condemns a government decision to limit use of the BlackBerry smartphone’s most secure system, BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), in the United Arab Emirates to a few companies with more than 20 BlackBerry users.
If the restriction takes effect, ordinary BlackBerry clients will have to use BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which transmits data via the standard Internet and is easier for the authorities to monitor. BES transmits data via servers based abroad and cannot be monitored.
Osman Sultan, the CEO of the telecommunications firm Du, announced on 25 April that the government-imposed restriction will go into effect on 1 May.”
“India’s telecom authorities have reportedly been instructed to ban operators from offering Nokia’s push email services until a system for monitoring its data has been established. The country’s Ministry of Home Affairs has asked that the Department of Telecom instruct “Telecom Service Providers not to launch Nokia’s proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities.”
India represents a key market for Nokia, so a ban on its services would be a severe blow. Nokia maintains that local security agencies in India are able to keep check on its enterprise email services via servers that it has established. The country’s authorities are moving to shut down any telecommunications services that they cannot access in order to scrutinise. Following a similar situation in the UAE, RIM’s BlackBerry services have also been threatened with suspension.”
From Developing Telecoms
“(Reuters) – BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said Russia could help development of new technologies by finding a balance between state security and innovation.
Co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said on Monday the Canadian company had “ambitious plans” in Russia and offered President Dmitry Medvedev — an avid user of Apple’s iPad — a new Blackberry tablet at a meeting on developing new technology.”
“BlackBerry users in the United Arab Emirates will soon be unable to send emails and messages without fear of government snooping, under tighter restrictions on internet communication in the Gulf state.
The UAE is to ban individuals and small businesses from using the most secure BlackBerry settings – for email, web browsing and BlackBerry Messenger – as part of security fears sweeping the Middle East. Only companies with more than 20 BlackBerry accounts will be able to access the encrypted BlackBerry service, which is favoured by corporate users and government agencies.”
From The Guardian
“This week, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI took action to disable the “Coreflood” botnet. In an unprecedented move, a federal judge granted permission to authorities to seize control of the botnet, which compromised private computers with malicious software that captured private online banking information from users. The Internet Systems Consortium, a non-profit organization, was given permission to takeover the botnet’s command-and-control servers — used to communicate with infected private computers — and replace the servers with its own.”
“Indian security agencies are not satisfied with a plan offered by Research In Motion (RIM-T60.150.691.16%) for them to have access to data on its BlackBerry Messenger services, junior Telecoms Minister Sachin Pilot told parliament Wednesday.
RIM gave India access to its consumer services, including its Messenger services, in January after Indian authorities raised security concerns, but said it could not allow monitoring of its enterprise e-mail.”
From The Globe and Mail
“Smartphones are getting pretty clever these days but it is unlikely they will outwit the cybercriminals as fraudsters increasingly go mobile.
Last week Android Market, the shop front for applications aimed at Android smartphones, was hit by around 60 malicious apps.
It is thought that they did little real damage other than to Android’s reputation, but the incident put the issue of mobile security back in the headlines.”
From BBC News
“The three-year struggle between BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) and India over what can remain private continues to be played out in public.
Although the Indian government revealed that RIM had recently provided encryption keys for its messaging and internet services to Indian security officials, it maintained that the company had not provided enough technical detail to allow sufficient use of the access.”
From SC Magazine
“BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), which has faced many deadlines from India for providing access to its enterprise service or encrypted emails in view of threats to the country’s national security, on Tuesday said that any tough measures by New Delhi won’t help in attracting businesses or its huge outsourcing industry.
RIM, which has already given the Indian authorities access to its consumer services since January, is unwilling to bend on its enterprise emails in the world’s fastest growing mobile market.
Expressing its willingness to discuss any policy changes, RIM said since its competitors also use encryption in India, they too should be the subject of the Indian scrutiny.”
From The Times of India