Threats to the Open Net: July 29, 2011

Every week, the OpenNet Initiative provides a weekly news roundup (dubbed "Threats to the Open Net") in addition to our usual in-depth blog posts. If you would like to subscribe to the RSS feed for our newsreel, our entire blog, or our weekly roundup, you may do so; you are also free to republish the feed on your own site, with attribution to the OpenNet Initiative.

* On July 25, Saudi Arabia began blocking the website of INGO Amnesty International (AI), after
AI published a Saudi draft law that the organization fears will hinder free speech in the nation if implemented.

* In other censorship news, on Thursday a UK judge ordered British Telecom (BT) ISP to begin blocking access to Newzbin2, a members-only usenet search engine.

* Also in Europe, several nations, including Switzerland, Finland, Estonia and Germany, have indicated plans to increase Internet surveillance in response to the July 22 terrorist attacks in Norway. Similarly, after a meeting attended by the Polish EU Presidency, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, the European Commission, Europol, member states and Norwegian counter-terrorism experts on July 28 to discuss the events in Norway, European counter-terrorism forces committed to increasing Internet surveillance and monitoring of cybercrimes.

* In China, new regulations are being enforced, which require businesses that provide Internet to install a costly Web monitoring software that collects data on users and their web activity. The high price of the software--and of the fine that businesses face for failing to install it--has led many bars, restaurants, hotels, and cafes to suspend Internet access.