September 24, 2012 in European Union
This document contains detailed recommendations on how to implement the best practices identified in the Clean IT project. It will be developed further in the months ahead. After the end of the Clean IT project it will only be shared with organizations that have committed to implementing the best practices. It will be developed further with these organizations participating in the Clean IT permanent public-private dialogue platform.
March 17, 2012 in Afghanistan, U.S. Army
Mirrored copies of multiple articles referencing and containing pictures of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales who has been identified as the man accused of murdering of 16 civilians in Kandahar on March 11, 2012. These two articles along with all other photos and media created by the U.S. Army that references Bales or contains photos of him is being removed from Army websites in an attempt to wipe away traces of the soldier’s online history. We have mirrored the material in the interest of preserving the documents for analysis and historical interest.
March 15, 2012 in Featured
The Society of Professional Journalists conducted a study for this year’s Sunshine Week surveying 146 journalists who cover federal agencies regarding the role that public affairs or public information officers play in restricting the flow of relevant information to the public. The survey found that journalists face significant obstacles in the performance of their duties due to the obstructive activities of public affairs officers. Some of these obstacles include requiring pre-approval for interviews, prohibiting interviews of certain agency employees or rerouting interview requests, and the active monitoring of interviews being conducted with agency employees. Journalists who responded to the survey found that this obstruction is preventing the public from “getting all the information it needs because of barriers agencies are imposing on journalists’ reporting practices.”
February 25, 2012 in Pakistan
The National ICT R&D Fund invites proposals from academia/research institutions, companies, organizations for the development, deployment and operation of a national level URL Filtering and Blocking System. Institutions/organizations/companies desirous of developing, deploying and managing the proposed system are requested to submit their proposals to the ICT R&D Fund Islamabad by 1500 hrs on 2nd March, 2012 as per the prescribed format.
February 24, 2012 in Corporate
A manual for the California-based outsourcing company oDesk is used by “live content” moderators of Facebook to provide standards for monitoring photos and postings in accordance with Facebook’s abuse and inappropriate content provisions. The manual was originally provided to Gawker by a 21-year-old Moroccan man who says he was paid $1 dollar an hour to scan Facebook for illicit content.
February 23, 2012 in California
A video taken by a friend of California artist Thomas Flournoy who was beaten by officers with the Santa Rosa Police Department during a violent arrest for obstructing officers following a local event. Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Lukas has reportedly requested that a judge produce a court order to demand the removal of this video from YouTube. Lukas claims that the video depicts a “limited view” of the incident and could cause a bias among potential jurors. We have re-uploaded the video and and are making he original MP4 file available for download so that others may share the video as they wish.
February 6, 2012 in Featured
Internet service providers should clamp down on websites used by violent extremists, both Islamists and increasingly the far right, British lawmakers said in a report Monday. The Internet is a more significant vehicle for promoting radicalism than prisons, universities or places of worship, and is involved in almost all cases of extremism, parliament’s home affairs committee said. Law enforcement agencies can already order illegal material to be removed from the Internet, but “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host,” the report said. The MPs recommended that the government work with Internet service providers (ISPs) to develop a code of practice on removing extremist material, but acknowledged international co-operation would also be needed.
October 11, 2011 in Corporate
Abusive activity on the internet continues to rise, and public concern about the safety of the internet is clear. Verisign is aware that some reports have sought to portray the com/net TLDs as being at risk from maliciousness. All parts of the internet community are feeling the pressure to be more proactive in dealing with malicious activity. ICANN has recognized this and the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook requires new gTLDs to adopt a clear definition of rapid takedown or suspension systems that will be implemented. To address concerns over malware, Verisign is seeking to (i) provide a malware scanning service to assist registrars in identifying legitimate sites that have been infected and (ii) establish an anti-abuse policy to facilitate the takedown of abusive non-legitimate sites.
June 23, 2011 in Corporate, United Kingdom
This note has been produced by the Rightsholder Group as an initial response to a request from the Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries to see whether there is scope to move toward across-industry voluntary approach to inhibiting access to websites that are substantially focused upon infringement of copyright. Our proposal is for a voluntary approach that will have a significant impact on the problem of infringement undertaken using the internet while being legally and technically feasible, cost-effective and proportionate. Our proposal is advanced on the basis that sound internet policy should encompass notions of accountability to incentivise private sector participants to take commercially reasonable steps, where available, to prevent or limit those harms that flow from the products or services they offer. This is a complex issue and we have addressed it here by offering a general approach based on core principles, exemplified by a more detailed explanation of the legal basis for the approach and of how such a system could work.
February 26, 2011 in News
Iraqi security forces detained about 300 people, including prominent journalists, artists and lawyers who took part in nationwide demonstrations Friday, in what some of them described as an operation to intimidate Baghdad intellectuals who hold sway over popular opinion. On Saturday, four journalists who had been released described being rounded up well after they had left a protest of thousands at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. They said they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit. “It was like they were dealing with a bunch of al-Qaeda operatives, not a group of journalists,” said Hussan al-Ssairi, a journalist and poet, who described seeing hundreds of protesters in black hoods at the detention facility. “Yesterday was like a test, like a picture of the new democracy in Iraq.”
February 22, 2011 in News
The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and other media outlets reported for the first time that Davis is a CIA employee. They said they had been aware of his status but kept it under wraps at the request of US officials who said they feared for his safety if involvement with the spy agency was to come out. The officials claimed that he is at risk in the prison in Lahore. The officials released them from their obligation after the Guardian on Sunday reported that Davis was a CIA agent.
December 18, 2010 in China, Open Source Center
While the Google incident and Secretary Clinton’s speech spurred online discussion on the subject of “Internet freedom” in China, reaction differed on two observed popular sites. Public comments in response to Secretary Clinton’s speech on a popular news website subject to state censorship were consistent with official media reaction, emphasizing nationalistic resistance to alleged US “Internet hegemony.” In contrast, discussion on a popular social networking site noted the irony in China’s official response to Clinton’s speech, questioning Beijing’s claims to have an “open” Internet.
December 15, 2010 in Open Source Center, South Korea
Widely regarded as the most connected country in the world, South Korea has a system of government regulations over Internet use that are designed to curb “general cyber crimes” but that also limit Internet freedom. The issue of Internet freedom gained attention online following the Lee Myung-bak administration’s handling of two high-profile incidents — in 2008 related to the protest against US beef imports and in 2009 over the arrest of a prominent Internet-based critic. Aside from interest related to these two issues, netizens, for the most part, do not appear concerned over the issue. If Seoul implements new regulations in response to continued growth in cyber crimes or new technologies, such as smartphones, netizens would likely oppose them only if they go beyond existing laws or impose significant inconveniences.
December 15, 2010 in Iran, Open Source Center
For almost a decade, the Iranian regime and netizen activists have been engaged in a veritable war of attrition over freedom of information on the Internet. With at least tacit support from information technology businesses — whose interests are adversely affected by government controls and restrictions — activists have sought to exploit the Internet in order to share information and voice dissent. In turn, the authorities have been implementing plans to manage cyber activity by taking ownership of Internet infrastructure and by promoting the presence of their supporters and messages in cyberspace, while justifying their efforts on the grounds of morality and national security. Neither netizen activists nor the government are likely to win the battle over information flows in the near term, in part because of financial considerations and evolving technologies.
December 14, 2010 in China, Open Source Center
Following Secretary of State Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom and Google’s announcement that it may withdraw from China due to hacking and censorship, PRC media commentary on China’s Internet policy suggests an attempt to portray the Internet as sovereign territory and China’s policies as defending against US “Internet hegemony.” PRC authorities could use these claims to expand control over the Internet. Some commentary, however, portrayed the Google dispute as commercial rather than political, suggesting an attempt to downplay the incident. Recent PRC media reporting suggests an attempt to extend sovereignty into cyberspace.
December 14, 2010 in Morocco, Open Source Center
In the wake of Fouad Mourtada’s conviction for impersonating Prince Moulay Rachid on facebook.com, Moroccan bloggers have voiced concern that his arrest sets a precedent for repressing bloggers who were formerly allowed to flourish. In contrast to the outpouring of sentiment on the Internet, Morocco’s mainstream press has thus far displayed only limited attention to the case. Moroccan security services arrested Fouad Mourtada, 26, an IT engineer from the southeastern town of Goulmima, on 6 February for creating a facebook.com profile in the name of King Mohammed VI’s brother, Prince Moulay Rachid on 15 January. Mourtada’s defenders argued that he clearly had no malicious intent since he used his home IP address instead of a cyber cafe and also argued that he did not expect his posting to be taken seriously since there are so many false celebrity profiles on facebook.com (French President Sarkozy has 41). Nevertheless, on 22 February, Mourtada was sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of 10,000 dirhams (approximately $1,350) (helpfouad.com). Beginning with prominent French-language blogger Larbi el Hilali on 7 February, Moroccan bloggers have charged that Mourtada’s arrest and conviction portends a government crackdown on Internet free speech.