Posts tagged “Yemen”

Canadian Software Used to Censor Web Abroad

In this article, CTV News reports on the role of Western companies in promoting censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, it looks at Netsweeper Inc., a Canada-based developer of content filtering software, and its role in providing governments in Qatar, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates with tools to filter online content.

Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, told CTV News that the recent controversy surrounding the Canadian company demonstrates that the Canadian federal government needs to take a clear position on content filtering, and within this, develop a clear foreign policy for cyberspace. For example, Deibert suggests that the Canadian government introduce legislation which makes it “illegal for Canadian companies to filter content in countries that violate the freedoms outlined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” In essence, “take a major international treaty of the 20th century, and apply it in a decidedly 21st century context.”

Deibert said that Canada should take on a leadership role on cyber policy “in international forums to spotlight and develop a kind of normative agreement that is consistent with the values we hold as a country.”

For the full article see here.

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

Yemeni Journalist Offers Facebook and Twitter Access, Piercing Government Blocks

“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

Yemeni Web Activists Clash With Opposition

“SAN’A—Yemen’s sanctioned opposition leaders, put on the defensive by the Internet-aided revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, are scrambling to exert influence over the country’s own budding online-activist movement.

The rear-guard action here underscores a bigger challenge presented by the recent unrest across the Mideast: Long out of power and weakened by the perception they have been co-opted by ruling regimes, Arab opposition parties have lost credibility among a new generation of tech-savvy activists now at the forefront of the current protests.”

From Wall Street Journal

Yemen protests demand president’s ouster

“Tens of thousands of Yemenis demanded the president step down in nationwide protests Thursday, taking inspiration from the popular revolt in Tunisia and vowing to continue until their U.S.-backed government falls.

Yemen is the latest Arab state to be hit by mass anti-government protests, joining Tunisia and Egypt in calls for revolutionary change. The demonstrations pose a new threat to the stability of Yemen, the Arab world’s most impoverished nation, which has become a haven for al-Qaeda militants.”

From CBC News