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Anonymous says it will take down Facebook on Nov. 5

Source: Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

Hacktivist group Anonymous said that it will target Facebook for a takedown on Nov. 5, aka Guy Fawkes Day.

Those claiming to be members of the group uploaded a video to YouTube in mid-July announcing the operation, which was spotted by Rosie Gray of The Village Voice on Tuesday.

Israel blocks airborne protest, questions dozens

Source: Jeremy Last, Associated Press

Aided by Facebook, Israel on Friday prevented scores of pro-Palestinian activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioned dozens more upon arrival at its main airport and denied entry to 69, disrupting their attempts to reach the West Bank on a solidarity mission with the Palestinians.

Israel had tracked the activists on social media sites, compiled a blacklist of more than 300 names and asked airlines to keep those on the list off flights to Israel. On Friday, 310 of the activists who managed to land in Tel Aviv were detained for questioning, said Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad. Of those, four were immediately put on return flights and 65 were being held until flights home could be arranged for them, she said. The rest were permitted entry, she said.

For full original article, see here

Ukraine: Censoring Facebook?

To the dismay of the Ukrainian Facebook community, the account of one of the most popular Facebook users in the country, Mykola Sukhomlyn [new account], aka Николай СУХОМЛИН, was terminated by the social network on June 1, 2011.

On May 17, Mykola Sukhomlyn shared a YouTube video by journalist Oleksiy Matsuka showing Governor of the Donetsk region, Anatoly Blyzniuk, driving a customized S-class Mercedes worth at least 60,000 euro. His post got picked up [ru] by a popular online news source Ukrainska Pravda, which linked to Sukhomlyn’s profile, and was later referenced by dozens of other Internet sites. The next day Sukhomlyn received the first threat.

For full original article, see here

Lahore High Court orders ban on Facebook over caricatures

“Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry on Friday directed the government to block the social networking websites committing desecration of the Holy Prophet (SAW) by any means.

The chief justice also directed the government to take measure in this regard while following the detailed judgment passed on a petition earlier moved by the Islamic Lawyers Forum. The petitioner was aggrieved of the announcement made by ‘Facebook’ last year to hold a competition of drawing caricatures, cartoons of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in a bid to desecrate the Holy Prophet (SAW) and the petitioner pleaded for putting a permanent ban on the website throughout the country.”

From Newsline

Lahore High Court to Consider Permanent Ban on Facebook

“In Pakistan, blanket bans and censorship have been a regular feature. Since 2006, there have been instances where YouTube has been blocked, and more recently, Facebook. While the pretext is national security, the protection of Islam or the interest of the greater good, political motives have almost always been behind these acts.

There were many critics of those lobbying against the ban on Facebook ban in May 2010, the constant criticism being: It’s just a ban on Facebook, get over it. But actually, it wasn’t “just a ban.” It was about how we react to blasphemy, it was about the prevalent tendency to lynch others for what they say without hearing them out properly, without verifying, without giving second chances. It was about political appeasement, the use of religion for political purposes, and it was about the unconstitutional overstepping of authority by state institutions and departments. So it was not just about Facebook.”

From Newsline

Amid Uprisings, Cyberattacks in Syria

“Amid popular uprisings in Syria, Facebook users in the country logging into the secure HTTPS version of the social networking site are finding themselves to be the targets of an ongoing man-in-the-middle attack detected on various Internet service providers. Although it is unclear who is behind the attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation links the attack to allegations that the Syrian Telecom Ministry, under the auspices of the Syrian government, is the perpetrator. It is suspected that the Ministry has replaced Facebook’s security certificate with a fake unsigned one. In this attack, users’ browsers propagate a SSL error on the Facebook Web site because the certificate is not trusted by the browser. Users may ignore the warning by clicking through it, and in doing so, allowing the attacker to access their Facebook account and control and collect information. Some suspect that this is a ruse by Syrian authorities to spy on activists using the site to coordinate protests.”

From Information Warfare Monitor

A Syrian Man-In-The-Middle Attack against Facebook

“Yesterday we learned of reports that the Syrian Telecom Ministry had launched a man-in-the-middle attack against the HTTPS version of the Facebook site. The attack is ongoing and has been seen by users of multiple Syrian ISPs. We cannot confirm the identity of the perpetrators.

The attack is not extremely sophisticated: the certificate is invalid in user’s browsers, and raises a security warning. Unfortunately, because users see these warnings for many operational reasons that are not actual man-in-the-middle attacks, they have often learned to click through them reflexively. In this instance, doing so would allow the attackers access to and control of their Facebook account. The security warning is users’ only line of defense.”

From EFF

Uganda: Citizens outraged by violent re-arrest of opposition leader

“Uganda opposition leader Dr.Kiiza Besigye was re-arrested in the capital Kampala for participating in the Walk to Work Campaign one night after he was granted bail.

Besigye had been granted bail on the condition that he would not engage in the campaign that has put the Ugandan regime in the headlines for three weeks now. The protests led by the opposition are aimed at high fuel prices which have led to high food prices and President Museveni is defiant that he will not intervene to reduce prices. The protests have so far left five people dead and dozens injured with bullets.”

From Global Voices

Facebook takedown followup: what happened, and what Facebook needs to fix

“Facebook has reinstated a number of sites’ Facebook pages that were taken down due to bogus copyright claims this week. The company issued an apology for the inconvenience and says that DMCA notice abuse is an issue that Facebook takes seriously, but serious questions still remain about the effectiveness of Facebook’s process for dealing with complaints.

Malicious individuals sure have an easy time taking down some popular Facebook fan pages, but sometimes it goes further than the lulz. ReadWriteWeb recounted a story from Hamard Dar’s Rewriting Technology site, who had its Facebook page taken down over fake copyright claims, only to be threatened later with extortion by the party who submitted the claim.”

From Ars Technica

Activists claim purge of Facebook pages

“Activists are claiming that dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts have been removed or suspended by the company in the last 12 hours.

The list of suspended pages include those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December’s university occupations.

It is not yet known how many websites have been affected in total or why they are not working. Facebook is currently looking into the issue.”

From The Guardian