“Walid Al-Saqaf’s Alkasir is an unsung hero in the recent political overhaul in Egypt and the Arab world. Alkasir–meaning “circumventor”–is what has allowed many ordinary citizens to access Facebook and Twitter and share vital information despite government blocks.
“Given that the Arab world is suffering from political censorship, there is a strong need for this in the region,” Al-Saqaf tells Fast Company.
The site uses a “split tunnel” technology to help people access blocked websites and map censorship by verifying filtering of websites around the world. And part of its grassroots success is that it only focuses on blocked sites for ideas and opinion-sharing.”
From Fast Company
Posts tagged “Circumvention”
“When Omar Shibliy Mahmoudi exchanged sweet nothings on the Muslim dating site Mawada, it wasn’t for love but for liberty.
To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef (“Difference”) Movement, used what’s considered the Match.com of the Middle East to send coded love letters to rally the revolution.
On the site, the revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact. Then they had detailed follow-up conversations via text message and Yahoo Messenger.”
From ABC News
“In recent days, with Iranians taking to the streets to protest against the government, the country’s Islamic authorities have boosted their censorship efforts in a bid to crush opposition activity online.
This is where Anonymous and its “Operation: Iran” come in.
The collective is providing users with special advice forums and tools to fight the Iranian government’s censorship. The group has also encouraged Iranian users to use distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) in order to take down key government websites like khamenei.ir, the website of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as leader.ir and president.ir.”
From Radio Free Europe
“For the past decade, those who used the Internet to report the news might have assumed that the technological edge was in their favor. But online journalists now face more than just the standard risks to those working in dangerous conditions. They find themselves victims of new attacks unique to the new medium.
Ronald Deibert and Nart Villeneuve of the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, in partnership with computer security consultants at the SecDev Group, have conducted some of the most detailed postmortems of online attacks on the press, including the malware sent to Chinese foreign correspondents, and a forthcoming examination of Burma’s DDOS incidents. Their academic work firmly states that they cannot connect such events directly to the Chinese or Burmese states. Deibert says the evidence they have collected does show, however, that both attacks utilized techniques and strategies common to petty cyber-criminals, including individual “hackers” who work simply for the thrill of bringing down a highly visible, but vulnerable target.”
“Days after Facebook and Twitter added fuel to a revolt in Egypt, the Obama administration plans to announce a new policy on Internet freedom, designed to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.
Ron Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, said that governments had been shifting from blocking the Internet to hacking and disabling it. Even in the United States, he noted, the Senate is considering a bill that would allow the president to switch off the Internet in the event of a catastrophic cyberattack.”
From The New York Times
In September 2010, the “Internet at Liberty-2010: the promise and peril of online free expression” international conference took place in Budapest, Hungary. The Day, a Hungarian newspaper, features Citizen Lab Research Manager, Masashi Crete-Nishihata in its latest issue. He is quoted from a joint-presentation conducted with the Citizen Lab’s Nart Villeneuve regarding internet filtering and circumvention technologies.
From The Day