Threats to the Open Net: January 13, 2012

  • Members of the NetCoalition trade association are considering shutting down in protest of the SOPA bill that's about to be voted on in Congress. Companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been discussing the possibility of conducting a mass Internet blackout to assert their opposition.
  • More domain suffixes will expand the current choices of Internet addresses. Some opponents have vocalized concerns that the number of scam sites would increase (due to similar sounding suffixes) and that hate groups would have additional platforms on which to congregate.
  • India's High Court warned Google and Facebook that they would censor offensive and objectionable content on the Indian websites if the companies did not filter content themselves. Said Justice Suresh Kait, "Like China, we will block all such websites."
  • The Iranian government forges ahead with increasingly harsh restrictions on Internet activity to control its citizenry. Last week, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (MICT) issued regulations that force Internet cafés to install security cameras, record users’ browsing history and usage data, and collect personal information. Also last week, two bloggers who have been detained since 2008 have been sentenced to death for promoting anti-Islamic opinions.

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