• By: Malavika Jagannathan
    Date: 02 Jul 2012
    China’s online censors went into overdrive on Friday, blocking internet searches and references to Xi Jinping, the man anointed as the country’s president-in-waiting, after US news service Bloomberg published a forensic report on the fortune amassed by his relatives. Access to Bloomberg’s news feed was also blocked following the story’s publication.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 29 Jun 2012
    The most popular website in Malaysia is an enigma – an online newspaper that’s thriving in a country where freedom of the press has always been suffocated. Malaysiakini, or Malaysia Now, operates out of shabby offices in Kuala Lumpur – with two-dozen reporters and a shoestring budget. Malaysiakini is considered to be the only independent media outlet with independent financing in all of Malaysia.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 29 Jun 2012
    Telstra, a Melbourne-based provider of phone and Internet services, has admitted to secretly tracking websites visited by its mobile users and giving the information to Netsweeper, a Guelph-based firm that makes tools used to censor the Internet abroad. Tracking was conducted in the lead-up to the launch of a voluntary web-filtering tool, Telstra said in a statement, and no personal information was stored or shared in the process. But concerns over the Guelph-based firm’s reputation have fuelled criticism and speculation in Australia about what the web-browsing data — which was transmitted to a U.S.-based hosting provider and then compared to a blacklist of websites curated by Netsweeper — might really be used for.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 29 Jun 2012
    In their annual donation drive to attain $29.5 million for 2012, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and its largest project, Wikipedia, will accept donations in four of the 12 ‘Enemies of the Internet’ currencies. Far from bastions of liberty, these are regimes noted for their egregious censorship and systematic repression of Internet users — Bahrain, China, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. Of course, it’s great to get donations from the suffering and violated netizens of those regimes. But just don’t try to donate safely in bitcoin — it’s not accepted.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 28 Jun 2012
    Some are calling it a coup. President Fernando Lugo’s hasty impeachment and removal on 22 June is raising many concerns including concern about freedom of information. An organization like Reporters Without Borders that defends media freedom has every right to be alarmed, as the country’s democracy seems to have been shaken and undermined. An attempt to censor TV Pública immediately after the senate vote removing Lugo and the suspension of certain opinion programmes have reinforced our concern.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 28 Jun 2012
    The UK government is to consider putting extra pressure on computer users to filter out pornography when setting up internet accounts. Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it. It is one of several suggestions being put out for a consultation on how to shield children from pornography. Websites promoting suicide, anorexia and self-harm are also being targeted.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 28 Jun 2012
    The American government’s bid to extradite copyright infringement king Kim Dotcom to the United States was dealt a body blow Thursday, when a New Zealand High Court judge ruled that the raids on Doctom’s home earlier this year were “illegal.” The decision may doom the entire prosecution of the founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload; New Zealand authorities are appealing.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 27 Jun 2012
    Internet censorship has become a buzzword these days. As the Centre is seemingly hell-bent on imposing stringent restrictions on the Internet, activist groups of different hues and orientations have been up in arms, protesting such moves tooth and nail. In this background, Rajya Sabha MP from Bangalore Urban district, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 15 with regards to India's proposal to the United Nations (UN) for control of the Internet through a 50-member, inter-governmental body.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 27 Jun 2012
    Netsweeper, the Internet filtering supplier linked to Telstra’s voluntary filter trial is also a supplier to the Yemen, the UAE and Qatar. The Guelph Mercury states that filters implemented by those countries block sites associated with news, political activism and satire, religious freedom – and Tumblr, which in Yemen’s case is classified as pornography.
  • By: Marianna Mao
    Date: 26 Jun 2012
    Lord Justice Leveson has stressed there is no “hidden agenda” to his Inquiry into press standards. In opening remarks to this morning’s session — which were posted on the Inquiry website — Leveson said he understood “only too well” journalists’ anxieties over the “dangers of a knee-jerk response” to the phone-hacking scandal that erupted last summer, but added that “no recommendations have been formulated or written; no conclusions have yet been reached.”