Global Digital Download
The Global Digital Download is a weekly publication that aggregates resources on Internet freedom, highlighting trends in digital and social media that intersect with freedom of expression, policy, privacy, censorship and new technologies. The GDD includes information about relevant events, news, and research. To find past articles and research, search the archive database.
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On 9 May, I posted the following message on Sina Weibo: "The account you have been managing for years can be deleted in a second. Then you try to plot its reincarnation by writing every word from scratch. The house you have been building all your life can be bulldozed in a moment. Then you try to rise from its rubble by picking up every piece of brick and tile. "This is my Chinese dream: harbour no illusion about the evil powers, and understand that their evil will only grow.
A group of security researchers in Germany found some suspicious traffic on their web servers after a Skype instant messaging session. After a single experiment, they concluded that Microsoft is snooping on its customers. But a closer look at the facts suggests that this is a well-documented security feature at work.
The Federal Government has confirmed its financial regulator has started requiring Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities, in a move which appears to also open the door for other government agencies to unilaterally block sites they deem questionable in their own portfolios.
Human rights groups criticised Azerbaijan on Wednesday for legislation that will make defamation over the Internet a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment ahead of a presidential election in the tightly controlled nation. Amnesty International and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) accused the oil-producing former Soviet state of tightening curbs on free expression before October's vote.
Chinese government censors are silencing influential opponents by shutting down their social media accounts on the pretext of a campaign against online rumors, victims of the practice say. “The authorities believe that liberal ideology will undermine their rule,” says Murong Xuecun, a famous author and outspoken critic of censorship whose accounts on four Twitter-like platforms disappeared suddenly last Sunday evening. “The space on China’s Internet for public opinion is being narrowed.”
Iran appears to have quietly launched their “Halal Internet”--a closed-off, heavily censored national Internet free of the corrupting influence of foreign websites. In preparation for the country's national elections on June 14, access speeds for foreign sites have slowed to a crawl. Access speeds for domestic sites, however, remain normal. Although the Halal Internet was originally conceived as a national intranet that would serve as a standalone network similar to old-school, pre-Internet AOL & Compuserve, it appears the finished model is more improvisational. Instead of hermetically sealing off Iran's websites from the outside world, gratuitous packet loss, website blocking, and VPN blocking measures are being used to discourage access to foreign websites.
Lebanese blogger Habib Battah narrates how he was held against his consent, forced to delete photographs of ruins from his phone camera and repeatedly assaulted in this post on the Beirut Report. When he reported the case to his local police station, the officers in charge said it was his word against theirs.
The online Sina Weibo microblogging account of Murong Xuecun, one of China's most popular writers and one of the country's foremost critics of censorship, has been deleted from the site, suspected to be part of the government's efforts to crack down on online rumors by targeting high-profile users.
Global Coalition Of NGOs Call To Investigate And Disable FinFisher’s Espionage Equipment In Pakistan
We are a consortium of NGOs and individuals, committed to respecting user privacy and promoting freedom of expression and access to information. We express our dismay and condemnation over the presence of a FinFisher Command and Control server on a network operated by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTLD’s). FinFisher, developed by a UK-based company Gamma International, has been used to target activists in Bahrain. Privacy International is currently engaged in a lawsuit over the export of FinFisher, and has also filed a complaint with the OECD.
It’s a big week for digital freedom and internet governance, with two key summits taking place in Geneva ahead of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on Friday, May 17, Brian Pellot reports. The week-long World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum bills itself as the “largest annual gathering of the ‘information and communication technologies for development’ community”. This multi-stakeholder UN forum brings together government, business and civil society to discuss internet policy and governance issues.
All content presented in the Global Digital Digest is aggregated from public news sources. This information does not reflect the opinions of Internews, and is not produced or verified by Internews.