Tag: online

Bahrain Using Canadian Software to Stifle Dissent: Report

Researchers have identified a Canadian company at the center of a small Arab nation’s online censorship system – a finding that sits awkwardly with Ottawa officials’ public support for digital freedoms.

Specialists from internet watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report published Wednesday that web filtering firm Netsweeper Inc. is helping block news and opposition websites in Bahrain, a Persian Gulf Arab monarchy which has been wracked by unrest since pro-democracy protests were stifled there in 2011.

Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert said the discovery undermines Canadian leaders’ forceful condemnations of online censorship.

Friends, Followers, Police Officers, and Enemies: Social Surveillance in Thailand

This report examines the emergence of social media based surveillance in Thailand, carried out potentially by people’s own networks of friends and family. It looks at the severe impact this has on personal privacy and points to potential solutions.

In May 2014, Thailand experienced a military coup – its second in eight years. A military government led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power and overthrew the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The Army declared martial law, which was maintained for the following 10 months, and an interim constitution was adopted in July 2014. The declaration of martial law allowed the Thai authorities to take strict public order measures, including reportedly closely monitoring of ‘delinquent’ behaviour such as eating sandwiches in the street or reading George Orwell’s books.

Online surveillance: we all have something to hide

Why continuing to shrug at mass data collection is lazy, irresponsible, and borderline stupid.

We’ve all got secrets. We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of. We’ve all done things we’re worried about. We’ve all done things we’re embarrassed of.

Yes, we’ve all got something to hide.

Despite Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of a secret US/UK mass electronic surveillance program worldwide, it’s almost every other day that I still come across otherwise intelligent minds who insist that they do not fear online privacy invasions because they’ve either ‘done nothing wrong’ or have ‘nothing to hide’.

The Right to Online Anonymity

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet, in a way which will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

The Internet has become an essential platform for the exercise of free speech, especially in oppressive environments where freedom of expression, freedom of association, and/or freedom of assembly are hindered. The main reason why the Internet is the preferred channel for dissidents is the possibility of maintaining one’s anonymity, which is vital for protecting citizens from state power.
It is a remarkable achievement how the Internet has revolutionized traditional communications channels by allowing more virtual space for the activist community in order to exercise its rights.