Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Web Censorship Update: 12-20-06

Here are a couple recent news items about web censorship that caught my attention:

-The BBC analyses the role of corporations such as Google and Yahoo in facilitating China's censorship of the Internet:

In 2003 the Chinese police who had been monitoring message boards, blogs and personal emails, asked for the sign up account details of two anonymous bloggers.

These were handed over by Yahoo China to the Chinese Government.

More than 57 Chinese people have been arrested as result of discussing democracy on the internet, say Amnesty International.

Human Rights Watch, a New York based campaign group, says a line has been crossed.

"Google, Yahoo and Microsoft no longer carry out the censorship for the Chinese government," says Asia Director, Brad Adams, "they are the censor."

-The MEMRI Blog brings word that Turkey plans to establish a mechanism to deal with "inappropriate Internet activity":

"Turkish Telecommunication Agency will set up an Internet Monitor Center to detect Internet abuses. Once the system is set up, both service providers and users will face heavy penalties if found guilty for inappropriate Internet activity.

Officials will hold daily meetings to detect and fight against Internet misuses. A public prosecutor will probably head the Internet Monitor Center. However, IT circles claim the project could violate privacy.

A bill has been drafted foreseeing imprisonment and heavy penalties for Internet misuse. Overseas connections of such services will be monitored to prevent publishing via overseas service providers. The center is concerned about low-price web sites published overseas. The Internet Monitor Center will monitor such web sites to apply penalties in cooperation with foreign authorities."


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