Turkey trains Kurdish peshmerga forces in fight against Islamic State    Hundreds of drivers arrested for traffic offences in Cairo, Giza    Police surround Alexandria University as students threaten to strike    7 militants killed, 67 arrested in North Sinai: Armed forces    Student arrested in possession of weapons    Calls to carry the Quran in Salafi Front protests ‘invitation for strife': Al-Azhar    Egypt hopes to attract $10-12 billion at investment summit in March    Egypt, China set to launch strategic partnership    Dortmund's Klopp open to managing in the Premier League    EFG-Hermes partners with Kuwaiti company, donates EGP 50m for poor villages    Economic summit to be held from 13-15 March in Sharm El-Sheikh    New Dubai-based online gallery calls for artist submissions    6 dead in Kafr El-Sheikh accident    Presidential decision on mortgage support not to address illegal housing: MFF chairman    Top four would be 'remarkable' for Liverpool: Lallana    Chelsea boss Mourinho expects difficult West Bromwich test    New Egypt comic artists push limits of expression    Egypt hires German firm to bore transport tunnels under Suez Canal    Japan PM dissolves parliament lower house for snap election    Cairo-Zagazig trains temporarily halted    First Impression: Living is Easy With Eyes Closed screens at Panorama    Polish town opposes Pooh Bear for unclear gender    Wall St. Ends At Records On Central Bank Action    Lockheed, Pentagon Ink $4.7 Billion Deal For Eighth Batch Of F-35 Fighters    Apple $450 Million E-Book Settlement Gets Final Court Approval    Limited Brotherhood Protests Dispersed In Egypt    Stay Home Or Return To Libya? Egyptian Workers Face Grim Choice    Brotherhood leader Bishr detained 15 days for 'espionage'    Egypt's Hospitals On Alert After Two Bird Flu Deaths    Three Killed In Car Crash In Southern Egypt    Three killed in car crash in southern Egypt    UN ‘deeply concerned' after court dismisses FGM case    Limited Brotherhood protests dispersed in Egypt    Oil up around $81 on China rate cut, possible OPEC move    Wall Street Edges Lower As Fed Minutes Offer Few Clues on Rates    Egypt Radio Bans Popular Singer Hamza Namira for 'Critical' Songs    BREAKING: 4 Egyptian policemen injured in Cairo blast Thursday    VIDEO: Egypt fail in CAN qualifying bid for third time    Cristiano Ronaldo: Euro Championship's top goal scorer    Days counting down until crunch Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix    Saudi King invites Egypt to join reconciliation with Qatar    Gulf 22: When brothers compete    Australian Actor Chris Hemsworth Named 'Sexiest Man Alive' By People Magazine    German Auction House Putting Hitler Watercolour On Market    How Michael Jackson Made $150 Million In 2014    Egyptian Journalists March Against Brash Zamalek Pres Mortada Mansour    Little Egypt: Journey through history in 2 hours    Book fair provides space for literary debate in Maadi    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.




Your friends recommend

Tunisia: Internet censors move into top gear
Published in Bikya Masr on 05 - 01 - 2011

Reporters Without Borders condemns the reinforcement of online censorship amid a wave of protests and rioting in Tunisia that began two weeks when a young man set himself on fire outside a police station in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid.
“Online social networks have played a key role in transmitting news and information about the situation in Sidi Bouzid and other regions while the government-controlled traditional media have mostly ignored the story,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The international media took some time to get interested in the subject but then found themselves barred from the sensitive areas.
“Sensitive social and political topics were already heavily censored on the Internet but the authorities, who are clearly disturbed by this wave of unrest, have responded by trying to impose even tighter and faster controls over the online flow of information about it. However, in the Internet era, it is becoming impossible to prevent coverage of events of this scale and censorship has perverse effects. All sorts of rumours circulate in the absence of reliable information. We urge the authorities to back off and to stop filtering websites and stop intimidating netizens and bloggers.”
Access to the pages of foreign media websites with coverage of the current unrest is blocked inside Tunisia. They include reports posted online by France 24 (observers.france24.com/…/20101220-violences-sidi-bouzid-tunisie-manifestations-violences-police-tentative-immolation) and Le Nouvel Observateur (tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/…/tunisie-heurts-entre-manifestants-et-forces-de-l-ordre-a-sidi-bouzid.html).
More examples of blocked media:
Deutsche Welle: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/9799/0,,14741313,00.html
BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/afrique/nos_emissions/2010/12/101227_cinvite.shtml
Rue89: http://www.rue89.com/2010/12/29/en-tunisie-on-ira-tres-loin-pour-defendre-nos-droits-182692AlJazeera: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2010/12/20101224235824708885.html
Social networks, especially Facebook, which has around 2 million users in Tunisia, have been hit hard by the censorship. The government is not blocking access to all of Facebook, as it briefly tried to do in 2008, but it is pursuing a strategy of targeted blocking and intimidation of the bloggers and citizen journalists who are emerging as the main relays of news and information.
According to the Assabilonline website, more than 100 Facebook pages about the unrest of the past few weeks are blocked in Tunisia. They include the Arabic-language Facebook group “Mr. President, Tunisians are setting themselves on fire”, which already has more than 12,000 members.
Here are two other examples of blocked Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Les-T…http://www.facebook.com/pages/lnthr…
Facebook users cannot access the ‘https' version of the site, which allows them to log on with a password securely. The Nawaat news website described this as part of a “Tunisian police campaign to hack into Facebook accounts,” a way for the authorities to obtain activists' access codes and thereby infiltrate the citizen journalist networks that have sprung up around the events in Sidi Bouzid. The site is offering advice on how to activate https requests: http://nawaat.org/portail/2011/01/03/tunisie-campagne-de-piratage-des-comptes-facebook-par-la-police-tunisienne/
Many activists and bloggers have reported that their email and Facebook accounts have in hacked. In a post yesterday entitled “You can't Stop us from Writing” (http://atunisiangirl.blogspot.com/2011/01/you-cant-stop-us-from-writing.html), Lina Ben Mhenni voiced her outrage at discovering she had been the victim of one of these cyber-attacks and named Sofiene Chourabi and Azyz Amami as fellow victims.
Several sources told Reporters Without Borders that for the past few days it has been impossible to upload photos and videos to Facebook from Tunisia. This is a new development in a country where the best-known video and photo-sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube have been blocked for months. This is clear attempt to restrict the circulation of images about the protests and the methods used to disperse them.
The censors are also taking an interest in the proxy software that people use to circumvent online censorship. Hotspot Shield, one of the sites that offer such software, has been particularly targeted in the past few days.
Tunisia's lively blogosphere is helping Internet users to withstand the battle with “Ammar,” the nickname for the country's censorship apparatus. The prevailing mood of defiance is evident in the slogan chanted by protesters and taken up by the blogger Anis on 30 December: “We aren't afraid anymore.”
Twitter pages about Sidi Bouzid were rendered inaccessible in Tunisia after the hashtag #sidibouzid spread like wildfire not only among Tunisians users but also netizens in neighbouring countries and throughout the world, testifying to the international solidarity movement that has arisen.
Under the codename “Operation Tunisia,” the activist hacker group Anonymous has launched a series of cyber-attacks on government websites, including the president's and prime minister's sites, to denounce the government's censorship of the Internet: http://www.anonnews.org/?p=press&am…
Tunisia is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet”. The authorities claim that they normally only block access to pornographic and terrorist websites but in practice many opposition and news websites and sites with human rights content, including Tunisnews, Nawaat, PDPinfo.org, Tunisonline, Assabilonline, Reporters Without Borders and Al Jazeera, are rendered inaccessible.
Meanwhile, Ammar Amroussia, who covered the recent events in Sidi Bouzid for the banned newspaper Al-Badil (http://www.albadil.org/) and participated in many solidarity protests in Gafsa (400 km south of the capital), condemning corruption and urging his compatriots to combat the “dictatorship,” was arrested on 29 December and is being held in Gafsa prison.
He is facing the possibility of more than 12 years in prison on a range of charges under articles 42, 44 and 49 of the press code, articles 121, 131, 132, 220-b, 315 and 316 of the criminal code and article 26 of a 1969 law about the “organization of public meetings, processions, exhibitions, demonstrations and gatherings.”
RSF


Clic here to read the story from its source.