Threats to the Open Net: September 16, 2011

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  • The indexing site Newzbin2 has introduced features to circumvent its court-ordered block in the UK. A London High Court judge banned access to the Usenet site after the Motion Picture Association filed a complaint, but operators of the site have developed an anti-blocking solution slated to be implemented in mid-October.
  • Global Internet companies voiced their concern over Thailand's stricter controls of online traffic this week. Investors of Google, Yahoo, and eBay have expressed alarm that the increased policing of online content in the country will negatively impact e-commerce potential in Thailand.
  • Iran blocked Tor, a free software that allows users to browse anonymously on the Internet, by adding a filter rule to Iranian border routers. Shortly after, Tor engineers released a new version to circumvent the block that was automatically relayed to its users as an update.
  • YouTube and other foreign news sites suddenly became available again in Burma. Global Post reports that in a surprise political move, Burma's notoriously "paranoid and reclusive government" have unblocked sites including BBC, Voice of America, and the popular video-sharing website. Southeast Asia reporter Shawn Crispin noted that this is "hardly a noteworthy move toward more press freedom," however, given that a mere 0.3 percent of the Burmese population has Internet access.