Threats to the Open Net: March 9, 2012

By: Qichen Zhang on 9 March 2012
  • Critics speak out against a renegotiation to a United Nations treaty that would give greater governance powers to the International Telecommunications Union. The new proposal would allow the organization to give power to state governments in patrolling content and manage data privacy, among other crucial responsibilities. People are already calling it the rebirth of SOPA/PIPA.
  • A Chinese microblogger named "Liu" has been sent to a labor camp for "re-education" after he tweeted false information about a SARS case in Baoding. The City's Public Security Bureau announced the news, marking another instance of China's crackdown on microblogging and rumor spreading in the Chinese blogosphere.
  • France's National Assembly passed a law to create a new biometric ID card for French citizens in an attempt to combat identity fraud. Fingerprints and photos of over 45 million French citizens would be stored in the largest database of biometric data in the country. Critics are already contesting the law, appealing to privacy issues.
  • Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has created a Supreme Council of Cyberspace. The organization aims to "protect Iranians' safety" when they go online, including against "cultural invasion." It will be run by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other powerful figures in the security establishment such as the intelligence chief, the commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, and the country's top police chief.

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