Week of the iPad, governments across the globe found just enough time in between loading apps to squeak in some good old-fashioned evil. This evil included, but was not limited to, arrests and censorious legislation. Let's take a look at this Week in Online Tyranny, from the top.During this, the
Tunisia blocks another video site. The Tunisian government blocked YouTube and DailyMotion. What was left to block? Why, WAT.TV, of course. This one seems to have been blocked for hosting opposition videos.
Egypt arrests another blogger. 23-year-old publisher and blogger Ahmed Mahanna was arrested this week. Mahanna published a book on Mohammed El Baradei, the United Nations nuclear arms inspector who is running for president of Egypt.">Reporters Without Borders publishes their Enemies of the Internet List. China FTW! 72 people behind bars (that we know of) for activities surrounding or depending on online tech. Read the rest of the list. Make sure you've got a candy dish full of Ativan at hand.
China's online espionage exposed. A group of Canadian and American internet researchers found and exposed a Chinese electronic espionage group. Ronald Deibert and his fellow ruffians, rakes and ne'er-do-wells at the Information Warfare Monitor kicked open the internet and found spies lining the trunk line from Shanghai to Delhi.
Egyptian police crush April 6 protest. The original April 6 Youth Movement was organized two years ago as a protest against increased bread prices and communicated via Facebook and other social media. Kids, old folks, whomever, many of whom would not be considered traditionally political, got their heads stove in with fists and truncheons around Egypt. Chemins de fer de l'etat Egyptien, indeed.
U.S. Federal Court decision goes against net neutrality. This decision may make it possible for communications companies like the large carrier Comcast to slow traffic coming from competing data-carrying companies and sites. Precedent counts in law and this is a bad one if you believe data should get carried at speed regardless of origin.
Author on book about Google cancels China trip. New Yorker writer Ken Auletta was advised by his Chinese publisher to cancel his speaking trip because a block on coverage of the search engine was in effect. The book's title is "Googled: The End of the World as We Know It." Read more ReadWriteWeb coverage on Google and China.
UK Government passes "Digital Economy Bill." The bill will allow Britain's Secretary of State to block any site on the basis of it being a "location on the internet" where copyright is, has been, or might be, "in connection with an activity that infringes copyright." Now, Orwell was British, right? Probably a coincidence.
Taiwan police request Plurk IP information. Police have been sending letters to Alvin Woon, CEO of microblogging service Plurk, requesting that the company provide IP information on certain users.
Venezuela's president demands digital news site be prosecuted. Despite having no constitutional powers to do so, Hugo Chávez "ordered" the courts to prosecute Noticiero Digital for publishing false information, in this case, the death of a public figure who wound up not having died. The National Assembly hurriedly agreed to el presidente's decree.
Thai government censors, well, anything with electricity. Nine television stations and at least 36 websites have been blocked by the Thai government under a "state of emergency" declaration. The so-called Red Shirt protesters provided the excuse to cut the informational lights in that country.
A few other important issues, that took place prior to this week, included U.S. Army Counterespionage's plans to counter Wikileaks; criticism of Australia for its filtering system, the worst in the Western world; two Iranian bloggers who were threatened with judicial murder escaped to France; European Union blocking plans; Turkish reporters protest for the unblocking of YouTube; and an Egyptian activist arrested then released for his Facebook group.
Top photo by Adrian Van Leen
Graphic from Reporters Without Borders