• By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 14 Jan 2009
    Three of China's most popular search engines have apologized for being slow to remove links to pornographic material, following the government's pledge on Monday to crack down on "vulgar" content on the web. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security is heading a nationwide campaign to purge the internet of websites accused of "violating public morality and harming the physical and mental health of youth and young people," according to state television.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 14 Jan 2009
    Finnish Internet censorship domain list. 797 domains are represented. The list is meant to cover Internet sites outside of Finland that publish child pornography. The list is generated without judicial or public oversight and is kept secret by the ISPs using it. Unaccountability is intrinsic to such a secret censorship system and indeed the list has already expanded to cover other sites.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 09 Jan 2009
    Recently, there have been reports that content involving the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is mysteriously disappearing from Facebook. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) has complained that “many threads in various pro-Israel and pro-JIDF groups have mysteriously disappeared,” while others have complained that anti-Zionist content has disappeared, and one girl alleged that Facebook has prevented her from using hashtags such as “#gaza” and “#palestine.”
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 09 Jan 2009
    Social divide fuelled by months of political strife has reared its ugly head, threatening to undermine the royal institution in the process. The threat has crept too close to the highest institution, thereby alarming the military which has sworn an oath of allegiance to protect the monarchy.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 09 Jan 2009
    Almost all discussion of the harm done by China's strict censorship of the Internet focuses around its human rights implications. However, by restraining the ability of U.S. companies to fairly compete in the world's largest market, serious damage is also being done to America's free trade interests by its largest trading partner. The list of companies caught in this dilemma will continue to grow. Today, these include companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!; tomorrow China's censorship policies will affect the growth of social networking companies like Facebook and MySpace.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 08 Jan 2009
    It is very troubling to hear the new Minister of Information and Technology say that her first and main priority will be censorship of the internet. Ranongrak Suwanchawee gathered top officials of her ministry just before the holiday and gave her instructions in no uncertain terms. Their top duty -- and hers -- will be to ferret out and block websites that officials believe carry insults to the monarchy. In effect, she ordered the expansion of a secret and highly questionable policy started by her predecessor last year. Mrs Ranongrak has clearly embarked on this programme without bothering to find any facts.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 07 Jan 2009
    The new Thai government has ordered ministries to act more decisively against those who violate laws protecting the image of the monarchy. The new minister for information and technology said the government was already blocking 2,300 websites deemed offensive to the monarchy. It was seeking permission to block 400 more.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 06 Jan 2009
    The Chinese authorities have launched a fresh campaign to get rid of unhealthy, vulgar and pornographic content on the internet. The authorities have also published the names of 19 websites that have failed to heed requests to get rid of unsuitable material. These include Google and China's top internet search engine, Baidu.
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 05 Jan 2009
    Even before a change of president, US government officials have realised that trying to block porn online is a bad way of trying to enhance the Internet. Anyone wanna tell Conroy?
  • By: Jillian C. York
    Date: 05 Jan 2009
    It wasn't tough for a protagonist in a Kundera novel to figure out if he/she were living in a police state. Looking out of the apartment window they could see agents of the state keeping a watch over them from a car parked in the street round the corner. Sometimes shady characters broke in and rummaged through shelves looking for letters or diary notes. Their phones were wiretapped and there was absolutely no way of knowing if the friend they met for a drink last night was an informer or not. An Indian blogger discusses how India has quietly turned to surveillance.