Threats to the Open Net: October 7, 2011

By: Qichen Zhang on 7 October 2011
Posted in Thailand, Italy, Asia, Europe

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.

  • The Slovakian government has come out with a draft law that would enable them to block web servers that provide online gambling without a Slovak license. The Society for Open Information Technologies and the Slovak IT Association have already expressed concerns against the law, including the potential ban on Facebook since the site allows users to play games such as roulette and poker.
  • Wikipedia has taken down the Italian version of their website. As a protest against an Italian parliamentary proposal that forces websites to take down objectionable material about a subject without any comment. The Wikipedia press team stated that this lack of third-party evaluation would harm the "truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive."
  • Uncrunched recently revealed that Facebook has filed a patent that includes the line, "A method is described for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain." IT World also reported that politicians are now asking the FTC to get involved to investigate possible privacy violations.
  • The Thai crackdown on offensive online material published about the royal family has intensified. The Office of Prevention and Suppression of Information Technology Crimes has upped their surveillance of the Internet for photos, articles, even Facebook postings that shed negative light on King Bhumibol Adulyadej and his family. The head cyberinspector Surachai Nilsang commented to the NY Times, "The thing that drives us to do our duty is that we love and worship the monarchy."