TAG | censorship
Multiple sources are reporting that Google services are once again available in China. They had been blocked in the lead up to the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests.
If this is real, it is an interesting view into the specifics of Internet censorship in Iraq. I find “Block all access to VPN in all Iraq from 4 pm until 7 am on daily basis” particularly interesting.
Just trying to prevent attack coordination at night?
Iran has taken the next step beyond censorship to criminalize the use of social media, particularly Facebook.
Iran has long had one of the most strict and effective Internet censorship regimes, but still huge numbers of Iranians were able to skirt the blocking to access social media websites, generally under false names. Actually criminalizing the activity adds a huge chilling effect to those striving for free access to information and speech. Using Facebook is now not just difficult, but also dangerous.
Obviously it is unlikely that someone positing positive messages about Iran, or the mullahs, would be prosecuted. This is a big stick that can be swung at dissidents and any opposition.
Ironically many within the government, including president Hassan Rouhani, have and actively use Facebook and Twitter. Hypocrisy is never lacking in repressive governments.
Many sources are reporting that most major social networks are being blocked in Iraq.
It is generally assumed that this is being done to prevent use of these tools for organization and propaganda by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). I am not seeing reports of blocking VPNs and other censorship circumvention tools. We are actively monitoring Anonymizer for any evidence of such activity.
Several days after the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled the blocking of YouTube to be unconstitutional, it looks like the block has been removed.
YouTube said that they are getting reports from users that they are once again able to access the site. YouTube was blocked since May 2008.