Home Death Threats Against Iranian Atheist Blogger: This Week in Online Tyranny

Death Threats Against Iranian Atheist Blogger: This Week in Online Tyranny

Death threats aimed at Iranian atheist blogger, Fariboz Shamshiri.

“One electronic threat was that someone would ‘cut his throat.’ In another message they wrote ‘the death is coming to you soon soon.’ He says he still doesn’t know who send these messages (they’re all anonymous), but he suspects — based on past experience — range from Basij militia, Revolutionary Guards Corps Cyber Affairs Division and/or some mullahs or students of seminary schools.”

His main blog is Rotten Gods and he is the editor of Stop Torturing Us. Iran’s lucky to have him. And seriously. Maybe he’ll have to explain himself before G-d, but he sure as hell shouldn’t have to do so before a mob of sloe-eyed nitwits.

Singapore bans critical YouTube video.The Asian city-state of Singapore has “banned a YouTube video of ex-political detainee Dr Lim Hock Siew delivering a speech, shot by local filmmaker Martyn See, claiming it was ‘against the public interest.'” The ban has made his harassment a cause célèbre and directed huge amounts of attention to it via alternative video sharing sites. How you like Dr. Lim Hock Siew now?

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez buys TV station. Not contented with censoring others, throwing people who disagree with him in prison, and talking on Twitter, he has now announced the government would be buying a majority stake in Globovisión. That’s the station that has been consistently critical of him. ¡Qué sorpresa! The leadership of the station vows to fight him.

Using https to frustrate censorship. CPJ has a great post on using https to frustrate censorship efforts. It makes it more difficult, though not by any means impossible, to eavesdrop on a site. Additionally, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has worked with the Tor group to produce an easily-downloadable plugin called HTTP Everywhere that will help protect your search queries from a lot of eavesdropping.

Uighur blogger sentenced to 15 years in prison. Uighur blogger and journalist Gheyret Niyaz has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for “endangering national security” In reality granting an interview to foreign media last year about the riots in the area is the more likely reason behind this rubbish ruling.

Iranian photoblogger arrested. Hamed Saber was arrested this week for no announced reason, but was probably his photographs. Truth is the enemy of the government, especially of Iran. Although it could have been Access Flickr, the plugin he developed to circumvent Iran’s blocking of the photosharing site.

Friends and colleagues aren’t sitting still, and that’s heartening. There’s a Free Hamed Saber blog and a Flickr discussion forum. These are both in Persian so if you don’t speak it, you’ll have to use a translation service.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act takes a hit. Or two. A recent U.S. district court “fair use” ruling has made it legal to jailbreak a phone. That’s if the ruling holds up against future court cases. A separate court case has ruled that DMCA takedown notices have to be spot-on. If they are not complete, and in a form that’s usable to the target (in this case Google) they are liable to be ignored, and legally so. DMCA has been at the center of a number of copyright disputes, one side arguing that pointing is the same as publishing (and search engines, for instance, are culpable if a site they include in results is breaking the law) and the other side arguing that, well, it’s not.

Censorship graphic by Andréia Bohner

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