Censorship posts on CNET

Censorship

Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube -- reports

Turkey's battle over Net censorship is heating up, with the government there reportedly blocking a method that let citizens sidestep a Twitter ban, the White House expressing "serious concern" over the ban, and Google reportedly refusing requests from Turkish authorities to take down YouTube videos that cast the prime minister in a critical light.

Bloomberg cited Turkish newspapers in reporting that the Turkish government had blocked on Saturday a Google service that enabled citizens to tweet. Setting a PC or mobile device to use Google's DNS IP address of 8.8.8.8 had let people … Read more

Turkish citizens fight back against Twitter ban

#twitter blocked in #turkey tonight. folks are painting #google dns numbers onto the posters of the governing party. pic.twitter.com/9vQ7NTgotO

— Engin Onder (@enginonder) March 21, 2014

The people of Turkey are still finding their way into the Twittersphere despite a government ban of the site.

On Thursday, Turkish courts took Twitter offline for the country's 76 million citizens following actions by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. An unabashed critic of social networks, Erdogan has threatened to "wipe out" the site in the wake of a political corruption scandal that has embarrassed the government through news, videos, … Read more

Sen. Manchin demands complete US ban on Bitcoin

A US senator is asking the federal government to take this remarkable step: completely ban Bitcoin.

Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator representing West Virginia, sent a letter Wednesday to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and other regulators characterizing the virtual currency as encouraging "illicit activity" as well as being "highly unstable and disruptive to our economy."

Manchin, who is a member of the Senate banking committee, suggested in the letter -- titled "Manchin Demands Federal Regulators Ban Bitcoin" -- that a complete prohibition was appropriate because Thailand, China, and South Korea have already … Read more

Microsoft accused of censoring Chinese search results in US

Is Microsoft censoring searches of certain Chinese terms in the United States? One Web site is standing behind its original accusation.

Microsoft's Bing allegedly delivers different results for English-language searches than for those in Chinese, The Guardian said on Tuesday. Run searches on such politically sensitive topics as the Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, and Tiananmen Square on Bing's English-language site and its Chinese-language site, and the results vary, the report claimed. The Guardian said the discrepancies were first noted by Chinese monitoring site GreatFire.

In response to the initial charges of censorship from GreatFire, Microsoft attributed the problem to a system error, … Read more

Turkey approves legislation to block Internet sites

Turkey is one step closer to enacting a law that would give the government the power to block any Internet site.

Late Wednesday Turkish lawmakers passed a bill that would let the presidency of regulatory agency Telecommunication and Communication (TIB) curtail access to an Internet site within four hours of receiving complaints alleging privacy violations, The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday. Such an action would not require a ruling from a court. Further, Turkish Internet companies would have to hold onto traffic information for as many as two years.

The next step falls to Turkish president Abdullah Gul, who … Read more

Spooked by NSA, eBay founder plans hard-hitting news site

Alarmed at the potential threat to a free press posed by aggressive attitudes toward leakers and by the National Security Agency's seemingly boundless spying powers, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is set to pour at least $250 million into a new kind of journalism outfit.

"I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy," Omidyar is quoted as saying in a PressThink blog item posted Wednesday by media critic and former NYU journalism chair Jay Rosen.

The eBay founder, who with projects like community news site Civil … Read more

NSA sought to unmask users of Net-privacy tool Tor, says report

The National Security Agency has been trying to crack the online anonymity provided by Tor, a US-funded Internet tool designed to keep Net activity private and said to be widely used by dissidents in oppressive countries, as well as by terrorists. That's according to the latest secret intelligence documents drawn from the cache leaked by Edward Snowden and published by the UK's Guardian newspaper.

The NSA hasn't been able to crack Tor outright, but through various means it's been able to "de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users," says an internal NSA document … Read more

China vows to shut down unapproved mobile news apps

The Chinese government is threatening to quash any mobile news app that doesn't follow its guidelines, Reuters reported on Monday.

This latest campaign is aimed at mobile apps that serve up news without the approval of the government. China's State Internet Information Office claimed that some of the news apps targeted in the crackdown provide "pornography and obscene information and harm the physical and mental health of youngsters," while others simply offer false information, Reuters said.

One app on China's radar is Zaker, which publishes information from newspapers, Web sites, and blogs. Another app is … Read more

Past as prologue? Vietnam-era spying by NSA comes to light

As the present-day NSA draws fire from critics worried about contemporary abuses of power, new details have surfaced about the secretive agency's efforts -- during the Vietnam War era -- to spy on prominent antiwar figures on behalf of the White House.

Newly declassified materials reveal that the US National Security Agency spied on two prominent Congressmen -- Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker -- along with high-profile figures such as civil rights leader and antiwar voice Martin Luther King and heavyweight champ and would-be conscientious objector Muhammad Ali. New York Times journalist Tom Wicker and Washington Post humor … Read more

Yes, atomic bomb that fell in US almost went off, says document

Newly declassified documents are on everyone's mind these days, as are inadequate safeguards on national-security programs. But the latest secret doc to see daylight makes the NSA's surveillance missteps look rather like child's play -- at least in comparison to nuking your own country.

That's right, the Guardian reports that the US nearly took out a nice chunk of the Eastern seaboard in 1961 when a B-52 bomber broke apart in midair over North Carolina and dropped two hydrogen bombs -- one of which came one electrical switch away from detonating.

The incident has been talked about for years, but this is the first time this secret document discussing the matter has been published in declassified form, the Guardian says.… Read more