Censorship, Imported


Authoritarians the world over, it seems, are getting help from the West.

As the WSJ reported today, Iran is using deep-packet filtering technology developed by a Nokia-Siemens joint venture to censor Iranian Internet access. Here’s a few more examples:

1) China’s “Green Dam Youth Escort” filtering program, aka the Great Firewall of China, is actually a hacked version of Solid Oak Software’s Cybersitting program, or so they accused.

2) Yahoo! handed over the email records of Shi Tao, a business journalist, to the Chinese government in 2005 after he had used his Yahoo account to send out documents pertaining to the 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre. Tao is now serving a 10 year sentence in the Chinese slammer.

3) Google compromised its “Don’t Be Evil” motto and agreed to go along with Chinese internet filtering rules starting in 2005, when it launched its China site, Google.cn. To this day, you can’t use Google to find information on the Taiwanese or Tibetan Independence movements.

4) Microsoft’s MSN Spaces site in China started filtering out blog posts that included the words “democracy,” “freedom” and “human rights” in 2005.

5) The Saudi Communications & Information Technology Commission uses Cisco routers and Harvard trained techies to censor sites and block access to “pornography and harsh ideas.”

Find out more in OpenNet’s report, AccessDenied.

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