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“hacktivists” of Anonymous plan attack on Twitter!

"hacktivists" of Anonymous plan attack on twitter!

"hacktivists" of Anonymous plan attack on twitter!

MADRID, January 27 .- The decision of Twitter to have the power to censor content in some countries, having been the banner of Arab spring, has let its users and has angered “hacktivists” of Anonymous, who call to boycott tomorrow’s network of “microblogging”.

“Starting today, we provide the ability to block content retroactively in a particular country,” and announced that the California company has developed a system of censorship to prevent messages that may be inappropriate in some cultures or states can be read in those places where “authorized entities” request.

The decision has provoked many reactions in the very heart of the social network, where the theme “@ censúrameesta, Twitter” was one of the most discussed.

The suspicion that the company, until now a staunch defender of freedom of expression on the Internet, has bowed to the wishes of certain government censors in order not to slow its international expansion and articles filled tweeted technology media.

“Unfortunately, it is a logical step for a platform that wants to be accepted worldwide. Some companies are forced to make serious concessions in the way they do business to satisfy the whims of business tycoons, secret police and religious leaders. Twitter just do one of these concessions, “the magazine claimed” TechCrunch. “

In that line, “Mashable” launched into the air the question: “Should governments commit Twitter censors for the sake of global expansion?”.

And, in part, Twitter gave them the right in his statement: “As we expand internationally, we have presence in countries that have different conceptions about the contours of freedom of expression.”

From the group of “hacktivists” Anonymous asks what you would expect from a company they have invested barons of Saudi Arabia and asked the tweeters do not have access to the network of “microblogging” on Saturday in protest of this new policy.

For some users, this decision is a “betrayal” by a company that has been crucial to the success of the Arab riots of spring and achieve “the tyrants die of fear” in 2011, holding the tweeters @ iyd_elbaghdadi.

And is that just a year ago the California company claimed that its aim was to connect people around what they consider important, and that freedom of expression is “essential.”

Richard Walters, the “Financial Times“, try to find the key: “Twitter will be fighting for their users, and not give in every time you run into local resistance, which will determine whether it remains one of the means of world’s most open communication. “

 
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Posted by on 01/28/2012 in Crime!, Internet

 

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USA and cyber-warfare; yes or no?

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web
Image by kevindean via Flickr
Cyber attacks against foreign nations
Cyber attacks against foreign nations

The assumption that the US has the technological know-how to cripple a competing nation has always been just that: an assumption. In a recent sit-down interviews, however, a former spy chief confirmed that America has already waged cyber attacks.

Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence at the National Security Agency under George W Bush, tells Reuters this week that cyber war is more than a distant possibility. According to the current vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, the US has already launched attacks on the computer networks of other nations.

McConnell did not add any input as to what countries have been hit with American cyber warfare in the past, but he did confirm that the US has already used the ability. When asked by Reuters if the United States had the capability to destroy the computer system of an adversary, McConnell responded “Yes.” When asked if it worked, he confirmed “yes” as well.

“Do we have the ability to attack, degrade or destroy? Sure. If you do that, what are the consequences? That is the question,” added McConnell.

Although the former spy chief neglected to name any countries that have been the target of American attacks, the US is believed by some to be the culprit behind a virus that targeted computer systems in Iran in 2010. Stuxnet, an advanced computer worm discovered in June of that year, impacted the computers used in conjunction with Iran’s nuclear program. In a January 2011 article in the New York Times, an American nuclear intelligence expert speaking on condition of anonymity said that the Israelis were behind Stuxnet, placing the blame on one of America’s most important allies. The expert adds in the article that Israel did indeed work hand-in-hand with the US in perfect Stuxnet before sending it to the Iranian networks, but that Washington wanted “plausible deniability.”

Other sources have since all but confirmed America’s involvement in the worm. German cyber security expert Ralph Langner told National Public Radio last year that the virus seemed like something out of science fiction, but added that, “Thinking about it for another minute, if it’s not aliens, it’s got to be the United States.” He went on to call the US “the leading force” behind Stuxnet, an assumption that many in Iran believe as well. While the Iranians have never officially recognized retaliation on their part, rumors of revenge via cyberwar have been rampant in recent weeks, particularly after news broke out of Mexico last month that hackers south of the border were being recruited by Iran to participate in an infiltration of American computers.

Before it launched an airstrike` attack on Libya in 2011, a cyberattack was considered as a route to oust Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, an Obama official said to the New York Times last year. In the end, however, America relied on other techniques.

“These cyber-capabilities are still like the Ferrari that you keep in the garage and only take out for the big race and not just for a run around town, unless nothing else can get you there,” the insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Times.

 
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Posted by on 01/25/2012 in Internet, Politics

 

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SOPA is off the menu of the United States Congress

SOPA is off the menu of the United States Congress

SOPA is off the menu of the United States Congress

Rep. Lamar Smith, promoter of the project against Internet piracy, announced that it postponed the presentation of the text to vote

WASHINGTON, January 20 .- The Republican Lamar Smith, promoter of the US SOPA bill against Internet piracy, today announced that indefinitely postponed the presentation of the text to vote in the House of Representatives, after hearing the concerns of citizens and claims of large companies in the network.

Smith said he resigned to take the lead SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) to a vote until there is a broader agreement that allows combat piracy after Tuesday will be limited to postpone to February after the first pressure.

Smith’s statement came after the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Harry Reid, said today that the discussion of another anti-piracy project known as PIP (IP Protect Act) would also be postponed in the Senate.

Smith, however, stressed their determination to protect America’s creative industries from piracy on the Internet.

“I’ve heard the critics and I take seriously their concerns about proposed legislation to solve the piracy problem,” Smith said in a statement.

“Clearly we need to review the approach to finding the best way to address the problem of foreign thieves who steal and sell inventions and U.S. products,” he added.

SOUP promoter insisted that he and the legislative committee that addresses the issue would continue working to find the right formula and protect the American cultural industry.

“The problem of online piracy is too great to ignore. The U.S. intellectual property industries provide 19 million jobs pay well and represent over 60% of US exports,” said Smith

“Theft of intellectual property costs the US economy 100 billion the year and the loss of thousands of jobs. Congress can’t stay away,” he said.

These projects seek to block the services of any website that is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for having published without permission copyrighted material and is in any place.

This has raised fears that legitimate sites are blocked where users share content.

On 18 January, the free encyclopedia Wikipedia virtual version in English and other web sites temporarily closed and other services, like Google, put up signs in protest of complaint by the controversial law.

The founders of the major Internet sites a few days ago sent a letter to Congress in which they argued that the law “will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously undermines the credibility of the United States in its role as administrator of the key Internet infrastructure

 
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Posted by on 01/21/2012 in Crime!, Internet, Politics

 

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Indian Government is the latest to join the war against the virtual world

Google Chrome
Image by thms.nl via Flickr

“No country, no continent, no geography, just IDs. It lured people in with promises: of faster communication, of networking, of quicker access to information. And after attracting a critical mass volume, it started wielding its power. China fought it frontally, but many monarchs of the Arab world succumbed to its onslaught. The virtual had started threatening the real world and a generation strived to marry the two,” says Sandeep Kalhan, CEO, GTS Technologies, Gurgaon.

The Indian Government is the latest to join the war against the virtual world. A court in India, on Monday, January 16, said that websites, such as Google and Facebook, are liable for the content posted on their platform by users, as they benefit from the content. This is in continuation with the court’s decision to prosecute 21 websites which are hosting “objectionable” content which includes pornographic images of political leaders and pigs running through the holy city of Mecca.

The court has issued an order through the Ministry of External Affairs to 21 overseas companies to be present on the date of hearing on March 13.

In December 2010, 39-year-old journalist Vinay Rai, who works in Akbari, a Urdu weekly, had filed a criminal suit in a lower court against 21 companies on the ground that the websites run by them host blasphemous and derogatory material which could even lead to communal riots.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, after the court accepted his petition of prosecuting these web companies, Vinay Rai said, “The distorted images of Goddess Saraswati, makes me angry. The pictures in cartoons of Prophet Mohammed makes my friends angry. Why can’t the content be screened before being hosted?”

Suresh Kait, the high court judge who was listening to Vinay Rai’s petition against 21 websites, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, nudged the government to implement China-like law to control the user-generated content. The Justice remarked, “Like China, we will block all such websites.”

Raju Santhanam, veteran journalist and former editor of a leading Indian news channel, says, “On web, it is the death of an editor. We, as broadcast editors, are for self-regulatory mechanism, web needs to find one.”

“There should be some law and it needs to evolve with consultation,” says Pawan Duggal, cyber law practitioner.

But, Zubair Siddique, young social marketing executive from Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore, the IT City of India), is aghast by the suggestions, “What is the use of words like freedom of expression if everything is going to be screened? India has over 120 million net users and the number is growing.”

“It’s much more healthier for the rage of that proportion to be vented out on the web and not on the streets,” Siddique asserts.

Joseph Pookkatt, partner, APJ-SLG law firm calls it a knee-jerk reaction from the judge and says, “The Indian Supreme Court has in the landmark case of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) case held that freedom of speech and expression includes right to impart and receive information which includes freedom to hold opinions. It would take much more than the threat of a Judge for India to go the China way. This is because, unlike Communist China, India has been and will always be a democracy.”

Virtual is definitely causing turmoil in the real world.

It is not that the real world has not seen conflict because of clash of freedom of expressions. “India was one of the first countries to ban Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie because the book threatened to cause uproar among a sizeable population of the country. The nude pictures of Hindu Goddesses Saraswati painted by, internationally known and India’s pride, painter Maqbool Fida Hussain raised so much of furore that he had to leave his country of origin and take the citizenship of Qatar,” reminds Shisir Basumatari, painter and founder of Flat Cube.

There have been many such instances of literature and art being banned because they hurt the sentiments of few or many. The Danish cartoons of the Prophet, is a case in study.

So the question is if society can handle these problems in the real world, then why can’t it withstand similar expressions on the virtual?  “Probably because, the web connects people;  ideas and expressions, sentiments and reactions, at a speed, which the real cannot imagine. It’s like fast food,” explains, Zoya Nargis, a student of contemporary history at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. “It is irresistible, but too much of it is not good for you.”

“The problem is that people who have never visited Iraq are expressing strident views about it. People who will find it difficult to put a finger on the map on Egypt are talking about what is happening at Tahrir Square. Credibility of information is a problem,” she adds.

Back in India, people are questioning the real intent of the Government to control the virtual. Between July 2009 and June 2011, Government of India sent more than 300 requests to Google, asking it to remove more than 750 posts.

The reason might be different for different people for wanting to regulate the content on web. But the debate has just started. Post it on twitter, recommend it on Facebook, Digg it, Linked in, Reddit, so on and so forth. But talk to a few friends in the real world before that.

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Posted by on 01/20/2012 in Internet, Politics

 

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