Threats to the Open Net: September 30, 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 the tail of Congress's approval of new FCC rules guaranteeing net neutrality, large ISPs have already filed legal challenges against them, including a prohibition of blocking legal content requested by users and clear disclosures of network management practices. Forbes reports that these new rules "stand little chance of surviving in court."
  • Bloomberg's Susan Crawford recently published a piece on San Francisco's termination of cell phone service on its Bay Area Rapid Transit system in order to foil a protest about BART police shooting a passenger. Crawford presses the FCC to address BART's conduct on the basis that this violated the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that prohibits discontinuing communications service without due process.
  • Governments around the world are reacting to social media usage for political organization. A Reuters article recently reported on a "wake-up call" that social media gave to authorities, especially after Arab Spring, who are reevaluating social media as "a fad."
  • Hackers broke into three companies that provide digital certificates to the most popular web browsers to ensure authenticity of web pages. A hacker obtained access to DigiNotar and forged multiple certificates for hundreds of webpages. The supplier provides certificates to browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome among others.