Civil Society

Posts tagged “Civil Society”

Belarus protests fuelled by internet freedom, bad economy

Source: The Sofia Echo

Internet freedom and an economic free fall are combining for unprecedented protests in Belarus, a nation historically locked up by a Soviet-style leader.

Falling living standards are swelling protests against Alexander Lukashenko, the strongman who has long ruled Belarus through a combination of charisma and intimidation.

An opposition leader, Vladimir Neklyaev, emerged from a jail cell last month to find he had to catch up with the fast-moving Internet resistance movement.

Hackers launch fresh attacks on Bahrain websites

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

Ongoing Attacks on Human Rights Web sites and the Problem of Attribution

“A number of cyber attacks took place against human rights groups this week; including Armorize’s discovery of a variant of a “drive-by-download” attack on Amnesty International’s Web site. As this Armorize blogpost explains, “A drive-by download attack refers to the process of a user visiting an infected page and subsequently gets installed with malware, without his/her knowledge and without having him/her to click on or to agree to anything.” In the case of this week’s attack on Amnesty International, a “drive-by-cache attack” (term dubbed by Amorize) was launched.”

From Information Warfare Monitor

NGO gains access to Guantanamo documents but double standard still prevails

“Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release of Department of Defence documents on 2 March that shed light on the Bush administration’s policies on the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and its views on the ‘significant risks’ to the general population if its detainees were freed. They were published in response to a request that the public interest group Judicial Watch filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in May 2009.

‘The decision to release these documents reflects the concern for transparency originally displayed by the Obama administration,’ Reporters Without Borders said. ‘We hope it will now take a similar decision on the release of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by US military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. The White House U-turn on FOIA implementation in May 2009 was a bitter blow.’ ”

From Reporters Without Borders

Human rights group files complaint against telecom chiefs for blackout

“The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) yesterday filed a complaint with the prosecutor general demanding an investigation into both the minister of communications, and chairman of the National Telecommunications Authority’s criminal role in harming and killing demonstrators by cutting off internet and telecommunication services in Egypt.

Demonstrators in Tahrir Square, including ANHRI’s team were surprised on the evening of January 25 by the interruption of telecommunications services, which the group says caused financial consequences and caused their families to panic. Cell phone service was cut for a day, with limited service after that for weeks in Tahrir Square, and internet was also down for more than five days, exposing protesters to deadly risks as those who were injured were unable to get immediate medical attention. Many died because they could not reach hospitals, said The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information in a statement on Thursday.”

From Al Masry Al Youm

The need to protect the internet from ‘astroturfing’ grows ever more urgent

“Every month more evidence piles up, suggesting that online comment threads and forums are being hijacked by people who aren’t what they seem.

The anonymity of the web gives companies and governments golden opportunities to run astroturf operations: fake grassroots campaigns that create the impression that large numbers of people are demanding or opposing particular policies. Companies now use “persona management software”, which multiplies the efforts of each astroturfer, creating the impression that there’s major support for what a corporation or government is trying to do.

Software like this has the potential to destroy the internet as a forum for constructive debate, as it jeopardises the notion of online democracy.”

From The Guardian

The joys of online activism

“There are many worrying trends in this modern era of globalisation, most notably the ease with which companies can operate and banks move money around, apparently outside any democratic parameters set by nations or an international community struggling to catch up with a rapidly liberalising context. But I have never been part of the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement because there are so many positive aspects to globalisation.”

From Guardian