Threats to the Open Net: November 4, 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.

  • California-based Blue Coat Systems admits that the Syrian government has been using their filtering tools to censor the Internet in the country. Company executives say they do not know how the tools entered the country, as the US imposes a strict trade embargo with Syria.
  • The Office of National Counterintelligence Executive released a report that calls China the biggest thief of American data and intelligence information. The report states that pharmaceuticals, information-technology, military equipment, and advanced materials and manufacturing processes are the four most targeted areas of intelligence, and that hackers from both China and Russia have compromised $398-billion worth of research.
  • Hackers shut down the Internet in the West Bank and Gaza this week during a grand scale attack on Palestine's Internet. Palestinian authorities have found the IP addresses to have originated from Germany, China, and Slovenia. The attacks came in the form of viruses that disrupted Internet communication.
  • British authorities have ordered the UK's largest ISP BT to shut down Newzbin2, a filesharing website, after it was accused of illegal hosting by Hollywood studios. Companies including Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, and Universal pointed the finger at Newzbin2, saying that the site has made millions by illegally distributing works.