Threats to the Open Net: June 29, 2012

  • In response to protests over recent austerity measures that began last week, the Sudanese government has attempted to choke the press by arresting journalists and censoring news sources. Even as online media is being used to circumvent censorship measures, activists who use the Internet are being increasingly targeted by the state. For now, rumors of an imminent Internet blackout appear to be unsubstantiated.
  • Telstra, a major Australian telecommunications community, has come under fire for secretly tracking its customers' mobile web actiity and sharing that information with Netsweeper, a Canadian tech firm that works on internet filtering and allegedly provides censorship tools to Qatar, the UAE, and Yemen. Telstra's tracking has aroused the ire of privacy advocates and inspire criticism of companies like Netsweeper that supply tools to state-led censorship regimes.
  • In a major victory for Megaupload's founder Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand High Court judge ruled that the January 20 raid of Dotcom's home was illegal because warrants for the search and seizure had lacked sufficient detail. The judge further ruled that it had been illegal for the FBI to send copies of Dotcom's hard drives to the US and ordered that no further material be sent abroad without the court's permission.

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