Censorship posts on CNET

Censorship

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

China censors hit popular WeChat accounts

The censors are once again targeting China's popular messaging app WeChat.

Chinese government officials on Thursday closed down a host of popular accounts run by journalists and columnists, according to reports out of the country. The move was seen as a response to possible criticism of the government, which held its annual parliament meeting on Thursday. The accounts were shuttered before Premier Li Keqiang started a news conference to announce the end of those meetings, according to reports.

Tencent Holdings, WeChat's owner, didn't seem upset by the government's move. Speaking to Reuters, which reported on the … Read more

Russia blocks access to several Web sites critical of Putin

The Russian government has blocked several Russian Web sites noted for their criticism of President Vladimir Putin and his government.

Russian Internet service providers were ordered Thursday to cut off access to a handful of sites, including those of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and famed chess champion Garry Kasparov, who runs opposition information site kasparov.ru. The order came down from the prosecutor general's office, according to a statement by state regulator Roskomnadzo (Google translation).

"These sites contain incitement to illegal activity and participation in public events held in violation of the established order," the agency said. … Read more

Is Venezuela blocking the Internet amid violence?

In Venezuela, the government controls most of the television stations, so many residents turn to the Internet and social media for news. But, what happens when those get censored?

As the South American country has become engulfed in lethal protests and government crackdowns, it is said that the authorities have now started blocking the Internet -- especially in those states that have seen the most bloodshed.

Widespread student-led protests against President Nicolas Maduro's administration erupted last week. While the government is working to maintain its control of the country, the protesters are calling for Maduro's resignation due to … 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

Bing censors Chinese search results in the US?

It's no secret that many search engines abide by China's rules and censor Web results for users living in mainland China. But, typically, results in other countries don't have the same filters.

Bing, however, has been allegedly censoring results for Chinese speakers in the US, according to a report by the Guardian. The Guardian writes that sensitive political topics -- like the Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, and Tiananmen Square protests -- are showing up on the Chinese-language Bing in the US with filters. When searching the same topics on the English-language Bing, users get far more results.… 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

Amid censorship, China requires real-name use for video uploads

When YouTube tried to cajole US users to go by their real names in an effort to cut down on cruel comments and promote Google+, people got up in arms. Now, a similar thing is happening in China, but users there don't have the option of continuing with anonymous names.

The Chinese government announced on Monday that all people must now register their real names when uploading videos to the Internet, according to Reuters.

Apparently, the move is to crackdown on anti-government dissidents and tighten Internet controls. Video sites are extremely popular in China and are said to be … Read more

Vietnam: Criticize government on social media and go to jail

Vietnam is joining the ranks of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, as being known as a country that censors its citizens on social media.

The government introduced a new law this week that fines people $4,740 for posting comments critical of the government on social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to Reuters. Some people could also face extensive prison terms.

While the law is unclear about what kind of speech sparks government censorship, it does say that "propaganda against the state" and "reactionary ideology" would elicit fines.

Vietnam's communist government has increasingly … Read more

Schmidt: Censorship could vanish within a decade

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt apparently believes it's possible for censorship as we know it to end within a decade.

Speaking at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday, Schmidt said that in countries such as China and North Korea -- where the Internet is restricted and free speech can result in severe punishment -- the better use of encryption and tech innovations could eventually lead to connecting everyone and preventing spying, whether the powers that be like it or not. According to Schmidt:

First they try to block you; second, they try to infiltrate you; and third, you win. I … Read more