Yaba Yaba

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Archive for November 2009

UN-happy about censorship?

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@szabgab tells me that UN security forces destroyed their poster at IGF for mentioning China’s firewall.

An anti-censorship group holding an event Sunday at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was disrupted by UN officials who demanded removal of a poster that mentioned Internet firewalls in China.

According to a Pakistani delegate, Shahzad Ahmed of Bytesforall.net, a reception hosted by Open Net Initiative (ONI) was rattled by IGF security, who objected to a poster advertising “Access Controlled“, a book being introduced at the event. “The poster was thrown on the floor and we were told to remove it because of the reference to China and Tibet. We refused, and security guards came and removed it. The incident was witnessed by many,” Ahmed reported.

The poster promoting ONI’s forthcoming book, “Access Controlled” was removed by the IGF’s organizers because a sentence in the poster apparently violated UN policy. The sentence in question reads, “The first generation of Internet controls consisted largely of building firewalls at key Internet gateways; China’s famous “Great Firewall of China” is one of the first national Internet filtering systems.”

“If we cannot discuss topics about Internet censorship and surveillance policy at a forum about Internet governance then what is the point of something like the IGF,” said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies and one of ONI’s principal investigators.

Deibert, one of the organizers of the reception, said he will file a complaint against the censorship of the event and send it to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

“We condemn this undemocratic act of censoring our event just because someone is trying to impress or be in the good graces of the Chinese government. It is ironic that while people are allowed to gather here to discuss freedom of expression online, censorship and surveillance practices on the Internet, we are being restricted in expressing our views,” said Al Alegre of the Foundation for Media Alternatives, a member of the ONI Network.

I find this deeply disturbing. Please help spread the news widely and pressure the UN for explanations.


Written by yishaym

November 17, 2009 at 10:23 am

chain e-mail is murder

with one comment

Not many things provoke a violent reaction from me. I must confess, to my shame, that chain mails are one of the exceptions. apologies to all my well intending friends. Perhaps its time I explain the rationale for my rage.

So you received an email saying that Charles Taylor would like to repent for his sins, and pay a dollar to UNICEF for every mail sent with this message. You spend 30 seconds on it, and decide ‘not bloody likely, but hey – what’s the harm?’ and forward it to 5 friends. Within 13 minutes you have wasted 2.5 lifetimes. That’s the harm. Just do the maths.

rounds seconds hours days years
1 30 0 0 0
2 150 0 0 0
3 750 0 0 0
4 3750 1 0 0
5 18750 5 0 0
6 93750 26 1 0
7 468750 130 5 0
8 2343750 651 27 0
9 11718750 3255 135 0
10 58593750 16276 678 1
11 292968750 81380 3390 9
12 1464843750 406901 16954 46
13 7324218750 2034505 84771 232
14 36621093750 10172526 423855 1161
15 1.83105E+11 50862630 2119276 5806
16 9.15527E+11 254313151 10596381 29031

Written by yishaym

November 13, 2009 at 11:38 am