Home Subpoena for Anonymous Twitterers Dropped: This Week in Online Tyranny

Subpoena for Anonymous Twitterers Dropped: This Week in Online Tyranny

Two anonymous twitterers in the American state of Pennsylvania – @bfbarbie and @CasablancaPA – tweeted harsh criticisms of the state’s attorney general, Tom Corbett, who is a candidate for the governorship. On May 6, a grand jury in Harrisburg subpoenaed the identities and other information about the two users from Twitter.

The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and sued on their behalf. The subpoena was subsequently dropped by Pennsylvania prosecutors.

Dania Virgen García interviewed by Yoanni Sanchez: After being arrested, sentenced and subsequently freed, Garcia, a Cuban blogger, was interviewed by another prominent Cuban blogger, Sanchez.

Former Iranian vice president and blogging mullah, Abtahi, beaten by government thugs: “As soon as the former Iranian vice-president left the mosque in Southern Tehran and got into his car, he was attacked by hired thughs. Armed with knives and cables, they smashed the windows of his car, and sprayed tear gas inside. Later, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, still shocked, wrote on his Facebook wall that he “miraculously” managed to escape unhurt.” Reading a New York Times article on January 16, 2005 about Abtahi, in which he recounted speaking to several people who’d been arrested and tortured in the first wave of Iranian crackdowns against bloggers, inspired me to start the Committee to Protect Bloggers the same day.

Russian “censorship czar” the toast of Silicon Valley. Anyone unfamiliar with Silicon Valley’s historical relationship with censorship will be shocked. Anyone who is, not so much. “So while the naive folks in Silicon Valley are singing praise to Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Russia’s new investing behemoth with ambitions of world domination, I bet they have no clue that Kremlin has recently tasked Yuri Milner, DST’s CEO and founding partner, with finding a way to police RuNet and cleanse it of all illegal content.”

Pakistan gets YouTube again (sort of). As we reported today, “Pakistan has now partially lifted its ban on YouTube, according to Naguibullah Malik, secretary of information technology and telecom. The site was one of many – including Facebook, Flickr and Wikipedia – that were banned last week in response to the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” movement.”

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