China Looking to Buy a Chunk of Facebook: This Week in Online Tyranny

pantheon.jpgItalian telecom agency to review Internet filtering proposal. Italy’s telecommunications agency has decided to review its filtering regime with an eye toward possibly impinging on fewer individual liberties.

Australia, on the other hand, has no such compunction. They’ve implemented their filtering system – oh, it’s for child porn, so don’t worry. One of the parties to this agreement, the Australian ISP Telestra, almost backed out, because of LulzSec. But now that all hackers have gone away for ever, they’re in like Flynn!

Cisco to build China’s surveillance system. Cisco and other Western companies are gleefully serving China’s new program to put up half a million 24-hour video cameras in public places around the southern city of Chongqing. In addition to being a major industrial and military hub, Chongqing is also a center for Chinese cyberattacks and the first of the country’s “cloud cities.”

Maybe I’ll print up some t-shirts. “Don’t tell my mom I work for Cisco. I told her I was playing piano in a whorehouse.”

bigbro.jpgTaiwan fines blogger $7K for restaurant reviews. Here’s my favorite part: “The court in Taichung city stated that her comment was not based upon objective fact and hence defamatory.” Let’s translate. In Taiwan, an opinion is a lie. Also, freedom is slavery.

China confiscates Swedish student’s passport for blog post. Look at you, China. It’s really your week. Sven Englund posted an open letter to China’s president Hu Jintao on his blog. He had planned to return to Sweden this month. But now he’s stranded in China indefinitely.

tunisia march.jpgTunisia blog sued. Nawaat.org, a blog that covered the Jasmine Revolution in great detail, is being sued in French court. The blog is being “threatened with legal action by Antoine Sfeir, a journalist and academic with dual French and Lebanese nationality, over a 20 March article by Lebanese journalist René Naba about the ‘Ben Ali dictatorship’s Lebanese sycophants.’” Another knock against a post-revolution Tunisia that seems to be slowly but surely returning to Internet censorship.

Apple blocks outgoing emails. Apple loves to censor things, up to and including Ulysses and the ThirdIntifada app. Apple refuses to say what exactly it is filtering in terms of email. The Cult of Mac tested a number of messages, including one which wished for more freedom for those in the Arab Uprising. It was blocked on the Apple servers.

Bush_mission_accomplished.jpgU.S. intelligence officials recommend separate Internet. Well, it may not be a “halal” Internet, but it looks like the separate structure recommended by a bunch of American intelligence folks will be about as free.

As PopSci reports, “Several lawmakers and the current Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander are toying with the notion of creating a ‘.secure’ domain where Fourth Amendment rights to privacy are voluntarily foregone in order to keep that corner of the Internet free of cyber criminals.” What was that one thing that one guy said? “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” He was probably a hippy.

Pantheon photo by Ville Miettinen, mission accomplished photo via Wikimedia Commons

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