Threats to the Open Net: December 9, 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.

  • The Chinese government's campaign to squash online rumors, especially on microblogs such as Weibo, picks up steam as news media controlled by the Communist Party begin publishing articles denouncing the spread of rumors. For example, The People's Daily called Internet rumors "societal drugs" and compared them to pornography and gambling.
  • Cyberspace in Russia comes under a massive attack during its national election. Websites including LiveJournal and Golos, an election monitoring site, experienced DDoS takedowns. Some bloggers believe the government tried to prevent citizens from disputing the contested results.
  • Indian telecommunications minister Kapil Sibal asks social media companies including Google and Facebook to prescreen user content in order to prevent content offensive to government officials from being published. After talks with executives from the tech giants, the two sides failed to reach a consensus.
  • Freedom House gives support to the Global Online Freedom Act. The proposed bill introduced today would prevent American technology companies from selling surveillance and censorship equipment to repressive regimes.