web censorship

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As Currency Falls, Venezuela Wages War on ... Bit.ly

Government turns to censorship to stop flight to dollar

(Newser) - The bolivar is in freefall. Panicked Venezuelans are rushing to buy dollars before their savings become worthless, which is only exacerbating the trend. Faced with this crisis, Nicolas Maduro's government has stepped up … and blocked Bit.ly? The popular link-shortening service has become collateral damage in the government'... More »

UK Considers Blocking All Porn Sites

David Cameron wants you to have to 'opt in' with your ISP

(Newser) - British Prime Minister David Cameron is considering a move forcing Internet service providers to block all porn unless users specifically request it, the Guardian reports, in a move likely to be vigorously opposed by the ISPs, free speech groups, and teenagers sneaking onto their parents' computers. Cameron will consult on... More »

Chinese Bloggers Mock US' SOPA Outrage

Even as some say they support the protesters

(Newser) - Chinese Internet users were just a wee bit amused by American protests over the Stop Online Privacy Act . "Don't understand the hoopla over Wikipedia blackout in the US today," one microblogger wrote, according to the LA Times . "We blacked it out here years ago. Where are... More »

Iran to Kill Internet Within Weeks

Will launch a 'halal' domestic intranet in its place

(Newser) - As fresh sanctions and economic turmoil loom, Iran has launched its harshest crackdown on the Internet yet, the Wall Street Journal finds. Internet cafes have been told they have 15 days to install security cameras and begin collecting information on users. Many sites have been blocked and Iranians may soon... More »

US Underwriting 'Shadow' Internet

Obama administration leading efforts to help dissidents

(Newser) - One of the ways Egypt , Syria , and other regimes crack down on protesters is by shutting down telecommunications networks—but soon they may no long be able to do so. The New York Times takes a close look at the global effort, led by the US, to create “shadow”... More »

How Egypt Turned Off the Internet

Other regimes might be able to do the same thing

(Newser) - Conventional wisdom holds that the Internet is too resilient and decentralized for a government to simply shut it down, but Egypt managed to do just that, and engineers are just starting to realize how. Cairo controls—and was able to close off—the handful of lines that connect Egypt to... More »

Assange: I've Got Big Dirt on Rupert Murdoch

Secret News Corp docs part of WikiLeaks 'insurance files'

(Newser) - Julian Assange says the "insurance files" that he'll release if something happens to him or WikiLeaks include secret documents that could seriously damage Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp empire. "There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organization, and there are cables on Murdoch and News... More »

Content Reviewers See Worst of the Web

Too much of the Internet's dark side can affect mental health

(Newser) - Imagine spending your workday looking at the vilest images and videos the Internet has to offer. That's the lot of content reviewers, who fill an increasingly necessary role in an online world more and more driven by user-generated content. It's essential for social-networking sites to stay free of snuff videos... More »

Now Pakistan's Blocking YouTube

Crackdown adds site to growing list

(Newser) - Yesterday, Facebook ; today, YouTube: Pakistan has blocked access to the video-sharing site—along with 450 other links, including some Wikipedia pages—because of its “growing sacrilegious content.” The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority didn't refer to specific offensive material, but said it acted after the site failed to take down... More »

Chavez Launches Twitter Chat

Comandante 'breaks loose' @chavezcandanga

(Newser) - Twitter's 140-character limit is going to be a challenge for a president notorious for hours-long speeches. But Hugo Chavez is nevertheless launching his Twitter feed today, striking back against critics who have been using the micro-blogging site to blast the Venezuelan leader. "I recommend you follow that page after... More »

Hypocrisy Keeps Other Firms From Doing as Google Did

They choose to work in a country that undervalues human rights

(Newser) - Why is Google alone in its stand against China? "Bald hypocrisy," argues Richard Cohen in the Washington Post . America wanted to believe the Internet would change China. Bill Clinton, no fool, once said that China's attempt to censor the Web was as fruitless as nailing Jell-O to the... More »

Google Shutters China Search Operation

Move to Hong Kong sidesteps censorship requirement

(Newser) - Unable to operate within China's stringent censorship regulations, Google will move its search operation to Hong Kong, retaining sales and R&D offices on the mainland. "The Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement," the company said today. The... More »

Will Rivals Join Google Stand Against China?

Stakes would be higher for Microsoft, Yahoo

(Newser) - Google may be hoping rival firms join its stand against Chinese censorship and hacking, but the stakes in a conflict with the Chinese government would be much higher for Microsoft and Yahoo. While Google's business in China represents only a small share of its global revenue, the picture looks different... More »

Today's Hot Topic in Syrian Blogosphere: Masturbation

Regime doesn't seem to mind as long as it doesn't challenge authority

(Newser) - Syria’s authoritarian regime has been quick to lock up bloggers who tweak it even slightly, but it seems to have turned the other cheek as a flame war over masturbation has erupted. One blogger’s call for a crackdown on the evidently widespread “secret habit” elicited a push... More »

China Blocks Google Over Porn, Foreign Search

(Newser) - China darkened Google for 2 hours today over the site’s continued practice of returning results linking to foreign websites and “pornographic” content, the Financial Times reports. The Chinese government is unhappy that Google’s domestic website, Google.cn, allows users to search the entirety of the Internet. The... More »

Iran Uses Internet to Spy on Dissidents

Nokia, Siemens technology allows regime to monitor Internet use

(Newser) - Iran has relied on European telecom companies, including Siemens and Nokia, to develop one of the world's most intricate systems for monitoring and censoring the Internet, reports the Wall Street Journal. The regime's surveillance goes beyond blocking access; it gathers information on individual users using a technique known as deep... More »

Web Users Worldwide Help Iranians Thwart Censors

Expatriates, Pirate Bay work to get information on protests out of Iran

(Newser) - Iranians are using every trick in the book to get information past the country's tight censorship of the Internet and to the outside world—and the outside world is doing its best to help, CNET reports. Sympathizers have set up a huge number of proxy servers to help disseminate information... More »

Obama Should Support Iran's Reformers

Let Mousavi know the US is there for them, ex-Bush officials advise

(Newser) - Whether or not Iran’s protests coalesce into a full-scale revolt, it seems clear that the Iranian people would like to change their totalitarian government. Barack Obama should help them do it, Bush administration officials Dan Senor and Christian Whiton write in the Wall Street Journal. He could start by... More »

Tiananmen Sweeps Twitter as Chinese Thwart Ban

'Tiananmen' becomes one of site's most-discussed topics as users turn to proxies

(Newser) - China's blocking of Twitter ahead of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre last week didn't foil the country's computer-savvy youth for very long, the BBC reports. Users swiftly shared information about visiting the site through proxies or software applications, and the subsequent twittering made Tiananmen one of Twitter's most-discussed... More »

China's Great Firewall Back Up

Censorship, relaxed during Olympics, on rise again as economy slows

(Newser) - China has quietly reinstated the web censorship lifted during its Olympics image cleanup, the New York Times reports today. As in the past, the tightening comes as growing unemployment raises the government’s fears of social unrest. The government defended its right to censor sites that violate Chinese secession laws,... More »

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