netwit 2.01

The Future Of The Internet’s Here. And It’s Creepy

The Future Of The Internet’s Here. And It’s Creepy

Neal Ungerleider, 21 Dec 2011

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Internet censorship, internet monitoring | , | Leave a comment

An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress

An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress

15 December 2011

Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively.

The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a neutral bastion of free expression. If the US begins to use its central position in the network for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.

See also:

The Revolt Against Congress’s New Internet Piracy Proposals

Larry Downes, Forbes, 28 November 2011

December 18, 2011 Posted by | COICA, E-PARASITE Act, Internet, Internet censorship, internet engineers, Internet filtering, PIPA, SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

— Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain, Guardian, 17 March 2011

which links to

America’s absurd stab at systematising sock puppetry
–The US has a chance to move on from a history of clandestine foreign policy – instead it acts like a clumsy spammer

Jeff Jarvis, Guardian, 17 March 2011

which links to

The internet: Everything you ever need to know

–In spite of all the answers the internet has given us, its full potential to transform our lives remains the great unknown. Here are the nine key steps to understanding the most powerful tool of our age – and where it’s taking us

John Naughton, Guardian, 20 June 2010

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Government 2.0, Govt 3.0, Internet, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, internet-centrism, Jeff Jarvis, John Naughton, net neutrality, Network security, social media, trust models | Leave a comment

#Internet #Egypt ~ How Egypt Killed the Internet [] []

How Egypt Killed the Internet

* The techie side simplified for the Netwit

January 30, 2011 Posted by | Cory Doctorow, cyber attacks, cyber crime, cyber espionage, cyber security, cyber terrorism, cyber warfare, cyber-utopianism, cyberpunk, cyberspace, cypherpunk, Evgeny Morozov, Internet, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, internet-centrism, social media | Leave a comment

#Internet #socialmedia ~ Inside the State Department’s Arab Twitter diplomacy [] []

Inside the State Department’s Arab Twitter diplomacy

Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy, 28 Jan 2011

This is a core article.

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Egypt, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, Twitter | Leave a comment

#Internet #Socialmedia #Evegenymorozov – Setting up a straw dog? [] []

First Thoughts on Tunisia and the role of the Internet

Evgeny Morozov, Foreign Policy, 14 Jan 2011

“What strikes me about events in Tunisia is that social media seems to have failed in what many of us thought would be its greatest contribution (outside of social mobilization) — that is, in helping to generate and shape the coverage of events in the mainstream media. On the contrary, despite all the buzz on Twitter it took four weeks to get the events in Tunisia on the front pages of major newspapers, at least here in the U.S. (the situation in Europe was somewhat better — and it was way better in the Middle East — for all the obvious reasons). “

Reading that is a reminder governments have always used the latest technology against their people as effectively as peoples used it against their governments. It’s just different technology. The Ancient Regime smashed printing presses. The political groups set up other ones to pump out the revolutionary pamphlets. In pre-revolutionary Russia, the government would have tapped plenty of phones abuzz with the news that the sealed train containing Lenin had set off from Zurich.

The irony is that self-appointed social media gurus have set up straw dogs which they themselves find they are having to drag down. And that includes Morozov, who apparently was some sort of blog specialist.

To try to make an argument in a large book, that the downsides of social media out-way the ups, is hard to pull off.

Social media proved very effective in U.S. elections.

To argue that they are of little use or their effectiveness in social mobilisation is minimal because authoritarian regimes are quick to use the same media to catch internet activists, is little different from saying regimes rounded up activists before social media existed. It’s probably true, in the case of Tunisia, many more Tunisians outside Tunisia were Tweeting and using FaceBook than inside it. But these messages will have been in Arabic and French which some inside Tunisia got to read and pass on in some way or another. They still used the telephone, email and read the papers, listened for radio from all round the world and watched satellite TV. No one is suggesting that social media were the only avenue for protest and social mobilisation. Words of encouragement will have spread by less high tech means. Comms didn’t begin and end with social media. This is the internet-centrist position, which is only to be expected from people who live by the internet, web and clever software.

Anti-government activism in Iran started with blogs, long before FaceBook and Twitter. They arrested bloggers. Just because the Iranian election protests were organised with the help of mobile phones, text messaging, and social media, and this helped the government to track the activists, doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t effective.

A more honest and true answer, and one that didn’t need a whole book to argue is that it helped both in different ways. That governments have learnt to hack social media, can surely only mean that pretty good encryption will be taken up by greater numbers.

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Evgeny Morozov, Internet, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, Tunisia, Tunisian cyberactivists, Twitter | Leave a comment

#Internet #Egypt ~ How Egypt Killed the Internet [ []

How Egypt Killed the Internet

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Wall Street Journal, 29 Jan 2011


The man who pooh-poohs social media in his book The Net Delusion, but who is himself a master of their use to promote his very book, asks in a Tweet if Egypt will be appointing a Minister for Twitter and FaceBook. I wrote a general reply to him with a #evgenymorozov (he is not following me) suggesting they may also be thinking about a Minister for Vodaphone – the Egyptian government shut down the whole mobile network as well as tampering with the social media.

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Egypt, Evgeny Morozov, FaceBook, Internet, internet activism, Internet censorship, Internet filtering, Twitter | 1 Comment

#INTERNET ~ Egypt down : world first as nation blacks out []

Egypt down: world first as nation blacks out
ZDnet, 28 Jan 2011

The WDIK column
This is very interesting: it shows that Egypt is even more authoritarian than Tunisia was. Both countries rely heavily on U.S. dosh, Egypt to the tune of $1.2B, probably a lot in the form of armaments. Both countries roped in to be a bulwark against Islamic terrorism, both possibly involved, in return for dosh, in extra-ordinary rendition: Egypt certainly so.

Hillary Clinton has gone on TV to urge restraint, that the Egyptian government not resort to shooting people in the streets. Well of course she has: the American’s don’t want anyone to draw attention to the Egyptian military relying so heavily on U.S. armaments, and using said to repress its own people. And certainly not that Egyptian doctors be digging out small arms rounds from protesters with Made in the U.S.A on them.

But at the same time the Obama administration will be squirming because all this shows that the American armaments and aviation industries rely heavily on selling their goodies to repressive regimes. Keeping the U.S. economy heathly on the backs of the freedom of billions of non-Americans. Take Indonesia. Take Saudi Arabia. It really behoves U.S. politicians to rein in idle talk of democracy and freedom.

Even more funny is the request that Egypt does not close down the Internet and mobile networks to stop the protesters communicating. Particularly since that was what was in the minds of many in the U.S. government in reaction to the Wikileaks crisis. They asked Internet companies such as Amazon to shut down servers connected to WikLeaks! But of course, there is bound to be some highly paid official in the U.S. who is now pointing out that Twitter and FaceBook are multi-billion dollar American businesses and must not be shut down by foreign governments willy-nilly!

January 28, 2011 Posted by | Egypt, FaceBook, info-war, Internet censorship, Internet filtering | Leave a comment

#INTERNET #internetcensorship ~ Internet censorship in Australia and how it compares to other countries

Internet censorship in Australia

Australia is a surprising example of internent censorship. There was a recent TV report of the opening of the Canberra Cybersecurity Centre, to which American officials were invited.

When you look at the Reporters Without Frontiers map, even if you don’t know the colour code, it is easy to work one out, with China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tunisia and Cuba the darkest most censored countries. This suggests Australian and South Africa are next worst, which might surprise some. Since the yellow is Britain, the U.S., etc, and Africa is a light blue: this can only mean since Africa’s internet development is not advanced it won’t censor much, but that that the yellow countries do censor to some extent.

A small amount of research shows the issue of internet censorship by country isn’t as straight forward as one might assume. Nation-State Routing: Globalizing Censorship has tables which purport to show the effect of a country’s domestic internet censorship policies on international traffic. Again, another surprise: The U.S. is top of the list followed by Britain and Germany with China 8th. Another measure shows:

“Collectively, these results show that the ‘West’ continues to exercise disproportionate influence over international routing, despite the penetration of the Internet to almost every region of the world, and the rapid development of China and India.”

Perhaps cipherpunk Julian Assange knew something we didn’t and was keen to get out of there!

Why not try Herdictweb, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where you can type in a website to see if it is blocked. Can’t be bothered? Just watch the map at the top highlighting inaccesible sites and when.


Website Maps Global Web Blocks
Herdict uses volunteers to monitor Internet censorship, filtering, and outages.

January 22, 2011 Posted by | Citizen 2.0, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act [COICA], connective knowledge, connectivism, cyber security, cyber terrorism, Internet censorship, routing censorship, Tunisia | Leave a comment