Threats to the Open Net: June 8, 2012

  • China's Internet monitors unleashed a broad clampdown on online discussion of the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, restricting even discussion of the nation’s largest stock market when the index fell by a number that coincidentally alluded to the date of the event.
  • China also unveiled proposed changes to its Internet law that will restrict activity on microblogging platforms and other online forums. The proposed changes will alter the definition of "internet service providers" to include blogs, microblogs and online forums. The plan will also require users throughout the country to register with their real identities in order to post online, a rule that is already in place in most major Chinese cities.
  • Google reported that it has added a feature to warn users whose accounts it believes are targets of “state-sponsored attacks,” but the company did not specify which government or states are responsible for these attacks. Google also began to offer users in China suggestions for alternative phrases when they search for sensitive or censored terms on the search engine.
  • Hamad al-Naqi was sentenced by a Kuwaiti court to 10 years in prison for endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Muhammad and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Twitter.

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