Home China Hacks Activist Platform: This Week in Online Tyranny

China Hacks Activist Platform: This Week in Online Tyranny

Chinese Hackers Bring Down Change.org in Response to Ai Weiwei Campaign. Chinese government-sponsored hackers took down Change.org with a DDoS campaign after the site registered over 100,000 signatories on a petition in favor of the imprisoned Chinese artist.

Ai Weiwei had been known for his role in the construction of the Beijing Olympic stadium and as China’s leading digital activist and a pioneer in the use of blogging and Twitter in China.

Love the future.

Syria blocks YouTube. In between killing its citizens, promising to repeal its emergency laws and enacting restrictive laws that make the emergency laws old hat, Syria has blocked YouTube again. This time, a graphic video of a 12 year-old boy shot in the face (do I need to warn you about this video?) during protests was the inspiration.

Dubai blogger now charged with possessing demon rum. Ahmed Mansur, who was arrested last week for post critical of the UAE government, has had an additional charge heaped on him – possessing alcohol, a crime for an Emirati to possess, though it’s served in hotels like it’s going out of style. Perhaps the thought is observers will leave the poor city-state alone out of deference for its culture where they might not if they were honest about the real reasons for his arrest.

Iranian blogger arrested for “terror plot.” A blogger, whose name was not given, was allegedly arrested. The reason given was his *sighs, rolls eyes* plot against the country’s president Ahmajinedad. Since the source is a pro-government publication, at least some, if not all, of the report is false.

Iran to create “halal Internet.” I think if I were Muslim I would be pissed off at Iran’s use of this term to describe an infantilized Internet they plan to have ready in about 18 months. Religion is, as it always is in these online censorship situations, a mask for the real goal of the censors: obedience. The Iranian government intends to offer other Muslim countries the use of this “Internet.” (What’s Persian for “backdoor”?)

Uganda blocks Twitter and Facebook. In an historical move, given sub-Saharan Africa’s largely complete freedom from filtering, Uganda has sent its three largest ISPs a memo requesting they block Twitter and Facebook. The reason? To “eliminate the connection and sharing of information that incites the public.”

Bahraini doctors arrested so protesters will die. Bahrain’s security apparatus has arrested 32 doctors, one who was operating on a patient at the time. This is in defiance of the Geneva Convention.

HTTPS Now Campaign Aims To Secure The Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Access, a digital freedom activist group, have partnered together to start “HTTPS Now,” a campaign to spread awareness and advocate for increased Internet security.

U.S. screw-ups. There are a number of stateside idiot moves that deserve note.

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