Writing in Al Jazeera, author Jillian C. York notes that net-savvy activists from Tunisia to Bahrain are facing constant threat of surveillance. The knowledge that posting the wrong picture on Facebook can get you arrested, if not worse, have caused activists to mitigate risks by censoring themselves using special tools like Tor, or staying off certain networks altogether. However, some activists lack the necessary savvy, and even those who are cautious still fall victim to shrewd regimes.
For instance, over the past few months “the Syrian regime and its supporters have been devising and implementing new ways of targeting social media users who express favour toward the opposition”. Their methods range from flooding Twitter hashtags with unrelated links to hacking to defacing opposition sites. Ms. York also mentioned the Information Warfare Monitor’s research findings as an example, which reports on a new attempt to mount an attack on pro-opposition Syrian Facebook users.
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