Threats to the Open Net: November 11, 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.

  • Brazil's House of Representatives is considering a proposed bill that would outlaw a number of common online activities. As it's currently written, PL 88/94 would give courts the power to punish netizens for file sharing, peer-to-peer communications, and the fair use of copyrighted works.
  • Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah released a letter from prison, calling the charges against him "flimsy" and "loose." After being arrested for inciting violence against the military in the October 9 Coptic Christian demonstration, Fattah remains incarcerated in Cairo. Recently, Fattah's mother went on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. Democracy Now reports that the Egyptian military has increased its vigilance in controlling protests in the country.
  • 39 of China's largest Internet companies have agreed to increase regulation of their services in accordance with a government movement toward greater control over the Internet. The firms, including popular search engine Baidu, agreed on a collective pledge during a state-sponsored meeting, stating that "Internet companies must strengthen their self-management, self-restraint, and strict self-discipline."
  • US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady ruled on Thursday that the Justice Department could gain access to Twitter accounts of three WikiLeaks associates. Although the decision does not give the department the right to read the content of the tweets themselves, the ruling does allow department officials to obtain the IP addresses and records showing specific instances of communication between the accounts.