New Censorship Plans in Pakistan, Iran and USA

Pakistan:

In Pakistan substantial internet censorship already exist [1] {2]. Now the Pakistani government want to build a national Chinese-style censorship firewall. This would censor 20 million internet users!

It may be impossible to build this firewall without support of western IT companies. Pakistani government has put an ad in their national papers asking for companies to help them. Bidding deadline is this friday.

  • At least five western IT companies have already said they won't participate (Websense, Cisco, Verizon, Sandvine, and OpenDNS).
  • Bluecoat, Huawei, McAfee, Netsweeper, ZTE, and others did not refuse but also did not confirm to play a role in putting up the walls of censorship.

In our opinion the reason for this restraints to take this profitable job is a first success of the publicity of surveillance technology companies by Spyfiles (Wikileaks), BuggedPlanet or Surveillance Who's Who (Privacy International).

Update: It seems, Pakistan shelves its plans to install a Great Firewall.

Iran:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei ordered the establishment of the High Council of Cyberspace and appointed a number of natural and legal persons to the council. The council will establish the National Center for Cyberspace that will allow gaining complete knowledge about the activities in cyberspace on domestic and international scales.

Additional Iran will launch the "halal" network (the closed national "internet") within weeks.

USA:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (discussed in the Congress) will allow companies or the government free rein to bypass existing laws in order to monitor communications, filter content, or potentially even shut down access to online services "cybersecurity purposes". The bill defines cybersecurity purpose to include theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

The government could proclaim that WikiLeaks constitutes a cybersecurity threat and have new, broad powers to filter and block communication with the journalistic website. Read more at EFF.org.

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