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Netizen Bakhtiyar Hajiev refused bail

“A second hearing in netizen Bahthiyar Hajiev’s trial before a Nizami district court in the city of Ganja was held yesterday. Facing a charge of desertion (under article 321.1 of the penal code) brought against him in January, he was arrested on 4 March after calling on Facebook for demonstrations against the government. He faces two years behind bars if convicted.

A graduate of Harvard and a former opposition candidate, Hajiev has complained of being a victim of a politically-motivated trial linked to his online activities.”

From Reporters Without Borders

Facebook has a free-speech problem

“Facebook is allowing “too much, maybe, free speech, in countries that haven’t experienced it before.” Adam Conner, a lobbyist for Facebook, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,” Conner told The Journal.

Conner’s remarks remind me that Facebook has begun a long and potentially sordid flirtation with China and its regime of online censorship. Yes, vast markets in closed-Internet regimes are tempting. Yes, the pie’s large — but is it worth it for such a small potential slice? Facebook won’t gain any friends by simply joining the group for Censors of Online Content.”

From The Miami Herald

Yemenis use Facebook in anti-regime revolt

“SANAA — Young and educated, like most protesters in Sanaa, the Shamakh brothers shoot videos of demonstrations and post them on the Internet as part of an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Protesters upload videos and pictures of their revolt on Facebook from Internet cafes around a square outside Sanaa University, which has become the epicentre of demonstrations demanding Saleh’s departure.

Many in the Arab world have grown to trust material diffused through social media networks on the Internet, to fill a gap in information caused by state censorship.”

From AFP

Minnesota man accused of hacking Facebook accounts

“Prosecutors have accused a Minnesota man of hacking into other people’s Facebook and other computer accounts and stealing photos of women to post on adult websites.

Prosecutors allege Noirjean was able to get answers to security questions that allowed him to access his victims’ Facebook and e-mail accounts.”

From Globe and Mail

Facebook may ‘block content’ claim as speculation grows over entry into China

“Facebook could block content in some countries, a Washington lobbyist for the company has said, adding that it has faced uncomfortable positions over ‘too much, maybe, free speech’.

The comments come amid increasing speculation that the company plans to enter the Chinese market, probably in collaboration with a local partner.

‘Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,’ Adam Conner told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).’We are occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before.’ ”

From The Guardian

Uganda: Communications Commission Orders 24-Hour Shutdown of Facebook Over Protests

“Kampala — The Uganda Communications Commission quietly asked Internet service providers to block communication on Facebook and Tweeter messaging platforms for 24 hours during the Walk-to-Work campaign on Thursday last week.

However, Internet services carried on without a glitch that day save for subscribers on one network who experienced intermittent interruptions.

An April 14 letter signed by Mr Quinto Ojok, who signed in acting capacity for UCC’s Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi, said social networking fora like Tweeter and Facebook, be shut-down for security reasons.”

From allAfrica.com

EU vs Facebook – the battle for private life

“Viviane Reding, the EU’s justice commissioner, is pushing for tougher privacy safeguards in an effort to give Internet users more control of their personal data that is collected, stored, mined, and could potentially be sold by companies like Facebook, Google, or any of the vast number of sites where users upload photos, provide private details, and, every once in a while, post something embarrassing.

The new rules, which are set to be in place later this year, put the EU in the vanguard of Internet privacy laws and could influence other countries, namely the United States, as Internet law becomes an increasingly pressing and controversial arena. What’s more, the stronger EU stance on privacy may have profound effects on companies like Facebook, which declined to be interviewed for this article, that have millions of users across Europe.”

From Presseurop.eu

On The Internet, No One Watches The Wiretappers

“When Twitter revealed in January that it had received a Department of Justice order to hand over information on three users associated with WikiLeaks, the real surprise wasn’t that an Internet company had been asked to secretly spill user data for a criminal investigation. It was that, for once, the firm hadn’t kept quiet about it.

Chris Soghoian, a privacy researcher at Indiana University and the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, has been following that Twitter case closely as a potentially precedent-shaping test for how and when the government can nab users’ online information. And now he’s released a paper that puts the case in context, outlining just how little Americans are told about the extent of government surveillance on the Internet.”

From Forbes

Are Tech Companies Becoming Unofficial Intelligence Agents?

“The satirical Onion News Network recently reported on new government funding for that “massive online surveillance program run by the CIA,” known as Facebook — dreamed up by “secret C.I.A. agent Mark Zuckerberg.” The report made light of how much information we willingly make available to third parties online that we would never consider freely handing over to the feds.

While funny, the report speaks to a great concern for privacy and civil liberties advocates, like Christopher Soghoian and Nicholas Merrill, who worry about the ease with which the government can get access to the digital information we store with third-parties like Facebook, Yahoo!, and Google, as well as to the rich databases that our mobile phone providers have.They worry that technology companies are being turned into unofficial intelligence agents with increasing regularity, as law enforcement turns to them for access to our electronic communications and location data.”

From Forbes

A little Internet private time

“We all freaked out a little bit last week over what may have been the worst breach in e-mail address security ever. For me, the rolling thunder of annoyance came in the drip drip drip of e-mail alerts from a number of companies with whom I’ve done business saying that the address I had shared with them for limited, specific purposes had been acquired by a hacker.

A bigger story emerged only later: These were not individual notes, but rather a symphony of breach because e-mail addresses from lots of customers shared with lots of companies were all stored in one place, a company called Epsilon.

Most people probably didn’t realize they had agreed to share their addresses with Epsilon. Nobody really reads privacy agreements and the terms of service because — and let me make a bold assertion here — they are needlessly long and verbose precisely to deter anyone from attempting to do so”

From Reuters