Network censorship and surveillance is a booming business. Censorship schemes continue to fragment the Internet and new censorship proposals are constantly introduced around the world, including in liberal democracies. (Lately governments have gotten fascinated by the idea of forcing ISPs to censor particular sites from the DNS, so users can’t find them even though the sites are still there.) Censors usually assume that most Internet users don’t know how to bypass the censorship (or, often, that many users won’t even realize the censorship is going on!).
With more than 500 million Facebook users across the world, it’s hard to refute that the social networking site has profoundly changed the way we communicate and share information. But what’s the Facebook effect on kids? When it comes to navigating the social networking world — whether it’s Facebook or fan fiction sites — the terrain becomes even murkier.
by Ben Parr
I recently met up with Facebook colleagues Simon Axten and Matt Perault to discuss the role that they and their platform might play in disaster response. So I thought I’d share some thoughts that come up during the conversation seeing as I’ve been thinking about this topic with a number of other colleagues for a while. I’m also very interested to hear any ideas and suggestions that iRevolution readers may have on this.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s false-flag E-G8 project has blown up in his face. The French leader convened a meeting of “digital thinkers” that was supposed to be a kind of levelheaded discussion of how to “civilize” the Internet — Sarkozian code for censor, surveil and control. But the very people he hoped to woo spotted his project’s hidden agenda straight away. The E-G8 White Paper is sharply critical of the exercise, and a coalition of civil society groups used the occasion to call on world leaders to fight censorship and surveillance and establish Net Neutrality.
by Todd Wasserman
“Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain” is a scholarly research paper reporting on a well-designed study of the way that spam works, from fast-flux DNS to bulletproof hosting to payment processing to order fulfillment. The researchers scraped mountains of spam websites, ordered their pills and fake software, and subjected it all to rigorous comparison and analysis. They were looking for spam ecosystem bottlenecks, places where interdicting one or two companies could have a major impact on spam.
from Mashable! by Christina Warren
Sarkozy’s French government is hosting an “EG8″ summit on Internet policy and have invited lots of technical people to attend in the guise of coming up with recommendations on Internet governance. But as documents reveal, the Sarkozy agenda is control and censorship. Jeremie from La Quadrature du Net sez,
Azerbaijan is far from an easy place to be an independent journalist – the nation ranks 152nd in Reporters Without Borders 2010 survey on press freedom. Even given a hostile press environment, Eynulla Fatullayev has had a particularly rough experience as editor of Russian language weekly Realny Azerbaijan and Azeri language daily Gündəlik Azərbaycan, two of the nation’s most critical and outspoken newspapers. In 2004, he was beaten on the streets of Baku in an apparent response to his criticism of the government. He faced a number of defamation suits filed by government officials, and in 2006, he was forced to suspend publication of his papers when his father was kidnapped. His abductors threatened to the man and the rest of Fatullayev’s family unless he stopped criticizing Azerbaijan’s interior minister.
While sites like The Pirate Bay grab most of the headlines in the BitTorrent world, there is another thriving part of the eco-system which attracts much less attention. The Internet currently plays host to many hundreds, probably thousands, of so-called private BitTorrent trackers.
These sites usually require an invitation to become a part of and tend to be much more organized than their public counterparts. Not that public sites are disorganized as such, but with limited resources and means of generating funds for survival, admins on private sites tend to keep a relatively tight leash on members and content availability in order to keep their sites healthy.
from Social Network Unionism by OrsanSenalp
Last summer we at the Meta-Activism Project set out to make a list of the world’s digital activism cases. While we are still wrestling with definitions or representativeness, we can at least be confident that our data set is indeed global. Of the 193 internationally-recognized sovereign states, the Global Digital Activism Data Set records cases from over 140 of them. In the interest of open research we have decided to share this in-process data publicly though the free data visualization site Many Eyes. A larger version of the map can be found on that site at http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/case-distribution-of-the-global-di.