“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
Posts tagged “Tunisia”
“London. When Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” took the country by storm in January, one of the region’s most sophisticated censorship regimes came to an end. The wave of unrest that followed underscored the power of social media and the tools governments use to counter them.
Many Middle Eastern governments cite the need to preserve morality and traditional ways of life to justify censorship of religious and adult sites. But activists say censorship often extends to political content.
The Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) Internet Advocacy Coordinator Danny O’Brian describes the online situation in the region as an arms race between those who wish to curtail information and those seeking to spread it. This high-tech war employs increasingly sophisticated technical and non-technical tools to block information on the Internet.”
From The Citizen
“Like nature, the Internet is an implacable, impersonal force. In moments of popular revolt, it can be used both to overcome fear and to create it.
In both Egypt and Tunisia, the Web appears to have played an initial role in organizing demonstrations against autocratic regimes.”
From The Washington Post
“TUNIS, Tunisia –- When Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship began unraveling here last month amid violent street protests, Tunisia’s internet administrators saw a massive spike in the number of sites placed on government block lists. But, in contrast to the embattled Egyptian government, the Ben Ali regime never ordered internet and cellphone communications shut off or slowed down, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency says.
Kamel Saadaoui, the director of the Tunisian Internet Agency of three years, complains that the perception of the ATI as an oppressive cyber-nanny is undeserved. He was just following the regime’s orders, he insists. Now that the government has changed, he’s following those new policies, helping open up Tunisian internet access as never before.”
“Malicious code injected into Tunisian versions of Facebook, Gmail, and Yahoo! stole login credentials of users critical of the North African nation’s authoritarian government, according to security experts and news reports.
Danny O’Brien, internet advocacy coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, told The Register that the script was most likely planted using an internet censorship system.”
From The Register
“Inspired by the recent Tunisian demonstrations against corruption, protesters are filling the streets of Cairo. And like the protests in Tunisia, the Egyptian ones were partly organized on Facebook and Twitter. And now Twitter appears to be blocked in Egypt, according to various Tweets and tips we’ve received.”
“It was on Christmas Day that Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan first noticed strange things going on in Tunisia. Reports started to trickle in that political-protest pages were being hacked. “We were getting anecdotal reports saying, ‘It looks like someone logged into my account and deleted it,'” Sullivan said.
For Tunisians, it was another run-in with Ammar, the nickname they’ve given to the authorities that censor the country’s Internet. They’d come to expect it.”
From The Atlantic
“So if Clinton wishes to argue, as I believe she legitimately can, that the American-pioneered infrastructure of global information exchange has contributed to the fragile rebirth of freedom in Tunisia, then she should really put in a word of appreciation for WikiLeaks – or for Kleenex, if you prefer the Gaddafi version. But do not hold your breath.”
From The Guardian
“JOHANNESBURG/LONDON (Reuters) – If anyone needed proof that cyber activists can create havoc in the real world, the last few weeks have provided evidence in megabytes.
Rallying behind WikiLeaks, the thousands of internet activists who made headlines in December by bringing down the websites of MasterCard and Visa have been branching out.
Operating under the banner ;Anonymous’, their other forms of action have included hacker defacements of websites, real-life protests such as mass leafleting, and a role in Tunisia’s ‘Jasmine Revolution’.”