How a handful of geeks defied the USSR
When twenty years ago Gorbatchev was faced with the challenge of a coup, only one channel was able to survive Soviet censorship. This is the story of how Usenet invented online activism.
Behind the China attacks on Google 1/12/2010
These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the Web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks, we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn and potentially our offices in China. Google and other companies have been hit by attacks that originated in China, with some targeting Gmail users who were human rights activists. As a result, the search giant said it would stop censoring its Web results in China and could end up exiting that market altogether. Alibaba, one of China's best-known technology companies, operates a series of popular Web sites, including Alibaba.com, Taobao.com and Yahoo China. The company, which is based in Hangzhou, is led by Jack Ma, a former English teacher who has transformed himself into one of the country's wealthiest and most admired entrepreneurs.
Browse the most popular sites viewed through our global anti-censorship network.
"people's history of technology and revolutions"
Crisis Mapping, which is using crowdsourcing to map crisis information. It would be great to have people's technologies to provide open Internet access beyond the reach of government repression. Truth must out.
The BBC website has now has a very interesting article "Internet role in Egypt's protests" by Anne Alexander (Buckley Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge):
A few days after the fall of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, a Jordanian newspaper printed a joke apparently doing the rounds in Egypt: "Why do the Tunisian youth 'demonstrate' in the streets, don't they have Facebook?" Only six days later, protests across Egypt co-ordinated by a loose coalition of opposition groups - many of which are very largely organised through Facebook - seemed to prove this cynicism wrong. Certainly, the Egyptian government reacted quickly: blocking social media sites and mobile phone networks before pulling the plug on Egypt's access to the internet.
This act of censorship was spectacularly unsuccessful.
A full (three part) subtitled version of the tremendously moving interview that Wael Ghonim (who set up the highly influential Facebook page ""We are all Khaled Said" Facebook page) gave shortly after he was released from 12 days blindfolded custody, can be found at, for example: http://warincontext.org/2011/02/08/wael-ghonim-interview/
It's no wonder that after this interview was shown a popular private Egyptian TV channel (DreamTV) tens of thousands more Egyptians joined the protest in Tahrir Square.
Whisper Systems, launched an The Egyptian versions of two applications for Android devices: RedPhone, an encrypted voice-over-Internet calling app, and TextSecure,
which encrypts users' text messages. more