You knew it was going to happen, but I am honestly surprised that it has happened this soon after the special 301 report recommendations came out. Italy has decided to issue a nation-wide block of sites that are suspected of piracy. One of the sites thrown into the mix is Kim Dotcom’s new cloud hosting service Mega. The measure was ordered by Court of Rome Judge Constantino De Robbio and includes 24 sites in its scope.
Irish subsidiary of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music have called the local ISPs to start blocking service Kickass Torrents. At the same time they launched a legal action against this service in the Irish High Court.
The slippery slope of Censorship that many predicted when SOPA, PIPA and other IP protecting laws first hit the scene is starting to come true in the UK. After winning a battle to apply network (ISP) level filters for Pornographic and File Sharing sites the UK government is now moving on to what they are labeling “extremist” web sites. On the surface they claim they want to stop extremist rhetoric on the internet (which is still not a good thing) and are working to bundle this in with existing laws that allow for the blocking of pornography and file sharing.
Verizon and a few other broadband companies are out to alter the way you view content on the internet. Ever since the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) put regulations in place to prevent broadband providers from block, throttling or altering content as it passes over their networks (2010) these companies have been fighting back. They argue that the regulation prevent internet expansion and investment. They would like to be able to broker deals with websites and content providers to provide them with different levels of access at different price scales. The FCC feels this type of behavior is anti-consumer and wants to make sure that all content is treated equally.
The fight against child pornography was announced earlier this week, and British Prime Minister called for the cooperation of internet service providers, operators of wireless networks and the authors of a web browsers to help filter the content of child abuse.
The Indian government these days enters the final stage of the first phase of implementation of the system for monitoring Internet activity, text messaging (e-mail, SMS) and voice calls of their residents. It is about $74 million heavy security project that is broadly conceived as a weapon to fighting terrorism. It is difficult, however, to ignore the fact that the privacy of users now virtually will not exist.
In Saudi Arabia, there is no joking about the data traffic that comes out of the country, and therefore apps such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp could soon be in serious problem. The government has announced through the telecom operators that if they don’t start start to censor messages sent from these services, they will seriously think about how to ban their use.
In China, for 12 years now, sales of consoles have been banned. According to local authorities, these devices are intended solely for entertainment and that is corrupting children's health, and therefore they are not desirable. [Ed – sounds like some of the politicians that are in the US…]
In preparation for launching their own internet, the Iranian government has decided to block Google. This move should “protect” Iranian citizens from big bad internet freedom. An official known only by his last name Khoramabadi stated "Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice“. The Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) said that this move was provoked by the anti-Islamic movie posted on YouTube that Google refused to remove. As we all know, Muslims don’t take these kinds of things lightly and we saw many newspapers or TV shows that made fun of their religious figures have received death threats shortly after the incident.
After a New York court decided to request account information and tweets from Occupy Wall Street protester, Malcom Harris, Twitter responded with filling an appeal. Unlike Facebook, who has been accused of giving up their users’ data to legal institutions like it was something meaningless, Twitter has decided to stand their ground and defend their users’ privacy. Harris is being prosecuted for allegations of disorderly conduct during protests on Wall Street and information on his two accounts @destructuremal and @getsworse is being asked for by the court. For @getsworse they requested all public tweets and “[t]he following subscriber information: name; address; records of session times and durations; length of service (including creation date); types of service utilized; telephone or instrument number or any other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address.”