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.
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.
Survey of Journalists Finds Public Information Officers Often Prevent the Public From Accessing Information
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photos of hundreds of Egyptian State Security officers, including the names of more than fifty high ranking officers. These photos were recently removed by Flickr for “copyright violations” after they were posted by protesters that recovered the information from DVDs taken from State Security headquarters.
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.
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.
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.
(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Chinese Media Use Google Incident to Press Claim for Internet ‘Sovereignty’
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.
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.
The Washington Post has changed significant portions of an article published earlier today regarding the CIA’s payment of large numbers of people within Hamid Karzai’s administration in Afghanistan. These changes occur mostly in the beginning of the article and substantially manipulate its content. Most notable among the changes is the complete elimination of a quote describing how “half of Karzai’s palace” is on the CIA payroll. This quote, from an anonymous U.S. government official, was replaced with a paraphrased statement that “a significant number” of officials in Karzai’s administration are paid by the CIA. This alteration is followed by a quote from a CIA spokesman, which does not appear in the original article, who says that the “anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both.” Another significant quote from this anonymous source, detailing how Kazai is “blind to about 80 percent of what’s going on below him”, was also completely eliminated from the article. There are also a number of smaller changes all of which are designed to eliminate the perception of ignorance, malfeasance, and public perception that the Afghan government is almost wholly owned by the CIA.