Home Kuwait Arrests Social Media Users: This Week in Online Tyranny

Kuwait Arrests Social Media Users: This Week in Online Tyranny

Two Twitters and one YouTube user have been arrested recently in the Gulf country of Kuwait. Kuwaiti Twitterers Nasser Abul and Mubarak Al-Bathali and YouTuber Lawrence Al-Rishidi have all been arrested in the last month or two.

Abul had issued “insulting tweets of the Sunni sect and severe criticism and insults to the Saudi and Bahraini regimes for their stand against the Bahraini protests.” Al-Bathali “has been previously linked with Al-Qaeda and of fundraising money and recruiting men for them through his speeches and visits to different mosques years ago.” Al-Rishidi “insulting the Kuwaiti Amir (ruler) in a Youtube video, which has disappeared.” Not everyone arrested for social media use is made of sugar cubes and rosebuds.

Activists met at Internet Governance Forum. An international group of activists concerned with keeping the same Internet that acted as a bullhorn for the Arab Spring free of government control met in Nairobi. Transcripts of the meetings, which took place at the United Nations building in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 27 through September 30 are available on the IGF’s website.

Pro-Chavez hackers silence critics. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has a long history of silencing opponents, including online. The latest move to shut Chavez critics up are the actions of a pro-government hacker or hacker group called N33. Leonardo Padron, a writer for a Venezuelan soap opera, and a Twitter user with a quarter-million followers, has been a vocal critic of the demagogic president. His account was hijacked, marked with “N33” and made to tweet posts critical of the writer and others who oppose the autocratic administration.

Others whose Twitter accounts have been subverted include “an activist, a humorist, three journalists, a TV show host, an ex-diplomat and a former Chavez supporter, all of them openly critical of Chavez.”

Indonesia to block 300 more websites. “(T)he Indonesian government…plans to take down 300 sites believed to host radical activity or views.” The country’s biggest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, is supporting the move.

Indonesian flag photo by Mr. T in DC

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