Home Siemens Helps Bahraini Torturers: This Week in Online Tyranny

Siemens Helps Bahraini Torturers: This Week in Online Tyranny

With mobile tech, Siemens helps torture a new generation, this time in Bahrain. Siemens was instrumental in bringing the Nazis to power and keeping them there as they murdered millions of Jews, along with Gypsies, trade unionists, leftists, homosexuals and others. Serving as one of its engines of genocide, Siemens provided the German Reich with, among other things, slave labor factories located next to concentration camps. Apparently, Siemens thinks that it has been good enough for long enough and that this Internet thing has made a sense of history a thing of the past.

Bloomberg reports that Siemens AG and its joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks, has made it possible for Bahraini secret police to intercept and generate transcripts of text messages and other mobile communications made by protesters in that country’s troubled version of the Arab Spring.

Mexico arrests two for Twittering narco rumor. Twitter has taken the place of the news media in an environment of narcotics-inspired self-censorship in Mexico. Hashtags have become the red lights that signal incursions of narco-violence in Mexico’s cities. The government has taken it hard – a combination of genuine, if misguided, desire to not see panic flare up with a widespread narco-money corruption. Two Twitterers who retweeted a rumor of narcoterrorist murder of children have been arrested for their posts.

South Africa plans Blackberry eavesdropping. The South African government is talking about giving police access to Blackberry’s encrypted messaging (BBM). AFP reported that Deputy Communications Minister Obed Bapela called the BBM a security risk, quoting the Sapa News Agency: “There is evidence that criminals are now using BBM to plan and execute crime. We want to review BBM like in the UK and Saudi Arabia.”

UK PM’s plan to ban social media dropped. Prime Minister David Cameron’s knuckleheaded attempt to place the onus for last month’s riots on social media has died the death it deserved. Our contention that the leadership of Cameron’s government was walleyed about social media was something they wound up admitting.

WikiLeaks may be petering out. Peter Dorling, of the Sydney Morning Herald, who has followed the news surrounding Wikileaks and its Australian founder from the beginning, has published a fascinating, fair-minded story that theorizes an end to Wikileaks.

After accidentally allowing the publication of their remaining diplomatic cables – which, along with the publication of the password to those cables in a book by two Guardian reporters made them public – Dorling believes there is not much left for WikiLeaks to do. Their leak-submission function has not in fact functioned for a year and there does not seem to be another Bradley Manning hidden in the wings.

Fight over Libya’s Internet. Six months after going dark, Libya’s Internet connection to the world came back on briefly during the rebel surge that resulted in their control of most of the country. It’s largely dark again and it may take a definitive end to hostilities before it is up to stay.

China tightens restrictions on microblogging, citizens react. “Chinese netizens are in an uproar,” NTD reported. “Recent indications from the Chinese regime seem to point to tougher controls on popular mircroblogging services, such as Sina Weibo.” State-run Xinhua News Agency, which acts as a mouthpiece for the rulers, criticized the site for its role in spreading what it calls false information. The “toxic rumors” Xinhua attacked included a train crash in Wenzhou. The outraged citizen response on microblogging sites, including Sina Weibo, forced corrupt and lazy authorities to act.

Uzbekistan creates a national Internet. The Central Asian tyranny has created its own version of a “halal Internet.” Muloqot is intended “for the formation of high morals.” In reality, it is about control of access to information and the means to disseminate argument and to cancel out the effects of social networks like Odnoklassniki and Facebook, where dissidents gather.

Kazakhastan bans Livejournal. After ordering all Kazakhstani websites use the .kz domain to be hosted on local servers, where they can be controlled by the government, the country’s authorities have begun banning sites. The latest is early blog platform Livejournal. The excuse given was that the social network’s “promote(s) terriorism and religious extremism and (contained) calls to acts of terrorism and the manufacture of explosive devices.”

Egyptian blogger moved to prison hospital. Blogger and critic of the military, Maikel Nabil was the first Egyptian to be arrested by the military in post-Mubarak Egypt.

He declared a hunger strike to protest the injustice of his military trial and imprisonment and the continued meddling by the Egyptian armed forces into civilian life. Now, he has grown sick enough that he has been relocated to the prison’s infirmary. He sickened “two days after he stopped drinking liquids on the eighth day of his hunger strike.”

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