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April 9, 2012

Iran To Create Its Own Internet, Will Censor Everything

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Iran Internet To become Closed Network

Here’s a novel approach to the internet, rather than attempting to block every Western site and their ideals towards freedom the Iranian government announced on Monday that it will create a “clean internet” by establish a country wide “intranet” program.

The new program will replace many American services such as Gmail and Google Plus with state-sponsored sites such as Iran Mail and Iran Search Engine, both which allow the government to more easily spy on users while censoring what content they are able to access.

Iran started moving towards a closed network after Twitters “Day Of Rage” protests targeted the countries government and led to massive protests and headaches for the countries central figures. In one case a man who was jailed was able to send a message via YouTube. read more

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January 31, 2011

Egypt: With No Internet Access, Users Get Creative

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Unable to access the Internet after the their dictator shut down access nationwide,  Egyptian citizens are coming up with alternative ways to organize themselves despite being digitally cut off from each other.

“They’re using old-fashioned word of mouth,” says Neil Hicks, policy advisor of the non-profit advocacy group Human Rights First. “They’re aware of the possibilities of surveillance if they use these technologies. So they get on a motorbike or car, and go to the next neighborhood and arrange things.”

A widely circulated document has served as a manual; it has illustrated instructions for everything from basic communications, to what to wear to a protest, to how to minimize injury while being attacked by police, says Hicks. (USA Today)

While it may notsound as “cool” as finding ways to hack around the system, bloggers may want to consider alternative methods of communication (like radio) just in case their government decides to implement something similar within their own country.

Although there are Egyptians finding ways around the blanket cut off via satellite phones or from landlines (who are dialing into free servers), hopefully political leaders in other nations can convince the Egyptian dictator to lift the cut off in the near future.

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Internet Kill Switch Seen As Good Idea By US Government?

In order to protect American citizens from threats beyond their comprehension, it looks like the US Senate is proposing creating an “Internet kill switch” which would grant the government the authority to turn off access to the world wide web (similar to what Mubarak did in Egypt).

The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  The bill — called “The Protecting Cyberspace As A National Asset Act of 2010” S.3480 — was approved by a Senate panel this week.

S. 3480 would create a new government agency called the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications.  The NCCC would have sweeping powers to control the Internet, including the ability to shut down the web for a 30-day period.  Considering that at least 60% of Americans get their daily news fix from the Internet, this is a staggering proposal. (The Blaze)

Unless our world is under assault from a killer virus from the future (whose purpose is to turn machines against mankind), it’s hard to justify giving the US government this power, especially since a lengthly shut down could literally kill off companies that rely upon the Internet in order to survive.

Hopefully American bloggers (or anyone for that matter) will consider calling their Senators and politely ask them to quickly kill this bill.

While a few organizations are mobilizing opposition to this bill, hopefully some of the tech giants (notably Google, Facebook, Automattic and Twitter) will use their influence to alert users regarding this bill as having the Internet shut off without warning.

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November 1, 2010

Turkey Unblocks YouTube For First Time In Years

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YouTube Logo

After a two year YouTube blackout, officials in Turkey today lifted their ban on the world’s most popular video sharing website.

Bans originally started in March 2007 when videos showed up on the website with offensive comments made against Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. After a short period the site was unblocked only to repeat the block/unblock cycle for just over one year, until in May 2008 YouTube was completely blocked in the country.

The recent whitelisting of the site according to Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim occurred because:

“…We didn’t get here easily, we have been through a lot in the process. I hope that they have also learned from this experience and the same thing will not happen again. YouTube will hopefully carry out its organization in Turkey within the limits of law in the future.”

read more

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June 29, 2010

Google Taking A New Strategy In China

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Google.Com.Hk Website screenshotWhen China said they would stop citizen’s from using Google’s uncensored search results the search giant began operating their servers out of Hong Kong, an area of China that doesn’t have the same censorship laws as the rest of the country, now Google is taking a whole new approach to provide Chinese citizens with uncensored search results.

In a post today Google said China would not allow the Google.cn redirection to occur, so they are providing a landing page at Google.com.hk which then lets users click on a link to head to the uncensored China search page.

Here’s the Google blog post: read more

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