Author Archives: sahar

Uganda: Citizens outraged by violent re-arrest of opposition leader

“Uganda opposition leader Dr.Kiiza Besigye was re-arrested in the capital Kampala for participating in the Walk to Work Campaign one night after he was granted bail.

Besigye had been granted bail on the condition that he would not engage in the campaign that has put the Ugandan regime in the headlines for three weeks now. The protests led by the opposition are aimed at high fuel prices which have led to high food prices and President Museveni is defiant that he will not intervene to reduce prices. The protests have so far left five people dead and dozens injured with bullets.”

From Global Voices

India’s New Laws Silence Online Speech: This Week in Online Tyranny

“India’s New Laws Silence Online Speech. An innocuous-sounding set of rules called the “Information Technology (Electronic Service Delivery) Rules, 2011″ [pdf] went quietly into effect last month in India. These rules, possessing the force of law, practically guarantee that no user of electronic communications in one of the world’s largest countries will ever be completely safe from persecution again.

Under the new rules, anyone who objects to content online will be able to effect that content’s immediate removal. The justifications for removal are so extensive and so vague that virtually anything will qualify for removal.”

From The New York Times

Web Offers a Voice to Journalists in Morocco

“CASABLANCA — After the Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet wrote about the king’s real estate holdings in 2001, he was tried in court on defamation charges and the article cost him his career: His satirical magazine, Demain, a symbol of the independent press, was shut down.

In 2003, he spent eight months in prison for “offending the monarchy,” and in 2005 he was barred from practicing journalism for 10 years for “threatening territorial integrity” and Demain was closed.

Now, the Internet has allowed him to make a comeback as the editor of the news site Demain Online.”

From The New York Times

FBI: $20M in Fraudulent Wire Transfers to China

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned this week that cyber thieves have stolen approximately $20 million over the past year from small to mid-sized U.S. businesses through a series of fraudulent wire transfers sent to Chinese economic and trade companies located near the country’s border with Russia.

The FBI said that between March 2010 and April 2011, it identified twenty incidents in which small to mid-sized organizations had fraudulent wire transfers to China after their online banking credentials were stolen by malicious software. The alert was sent out Tuesday in cooperation with the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), an industry consortium. The alert notes that actual victim losses are $11 million, suggesting that victim banks were able to claw back some of the fraudulent transfers.”

From Krebs on Security

British firm offered spying software to Egyptian regime – documents

“A British company offered to sell a program to the Egyptian security services that experts say could infect computers, hack into web-based email and communications tools such as Skype and even take control of other groups’ systems remotely, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Two Egyptian human rights activists found the documents amid hundreds of batons and torture equipment when they broke into the headquarters of the regime’s State Security Investigations service (SSI) last month.”

From The Guardian

TomTom user data sold to Dutch police, used to determine ideal locations for speed traps

“We like it when the accumulated speed data from GPS devices helps us avoid traffic incidents and school zones. As it turns out, though, there are some other uses for the same stats. Dutch news outlet AD is reporting that such data captured by TomTom navigation devices has been purchased by the country’s police force and is being used to determine where speed traps and cameras should be placed. TomTom was reportedly unaware its data was being used in such a way, but if the police would only agree to sell the data on the location of its speed cameras and traps back to TomTom, why, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”

From Engadget

Apple to Testify Before Congress on Smartphone Privacy

“Franken has requested that both Apple and Google send representatives to testify at the May 10 hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The subcommittee was created when the new Congress convened in January. This hearing, on “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy,” will be the subcommittee’s first ever.

The Judiciary Committee hasn’t heard from Google about whether it will send anyone to testify. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the full committee, sent a letter to Jobs and Google CEO Larry Page Wednesday urging them to seriously consider Franken’s request.”

From The Atlantic

UAE quiet on streets but Web reformers face heat

“DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — No protesters have taken to the streets calling for reforms. There’s been barely a public whisper about whether the Arab uprisings could intrude on the cozy world of the United Arab Emirates’ rulers.

The main challenge to authority so far has been a modest online petition urging for open elections and the creation of a parliament.

But even that crossed a line. Security agents have arrested at least five Internet activists over the past month. The swift government action to snuff out any whiff of dissent shows that, despite the UAE’s transformation into a cosmopolitan showcase, it has never outgrown its tribal-style rule that keeps power in the hands of just a few.”

From The Huffington Post

Dropbox Tries To Kill Off Open Source Project With DMCA Takedown

“Teck points us to the troubling news of Dropbox seeking to kill off an open source project through questionable means, involving DMCA notices. As you may have heard, Dropbox got into a bit of a security/privacy kerfuffle lately after some researchers questioned the news that it uses a hash function to deduplicate files on its servers. If you don’t know, Dropbox is a cloud storage system that’s pretty useful. However, one of the ways it attempted to save some costs was that if you sought to upload a file that was identical to a file on someone else’s shared server, it wouldn’t actually “upload” your file, but just point you to the single file. There were clear security and privacy questions about this.”

From techdirt

When the Government Comes Knocking, Who has Your Back?

“On Monday, April 11, 2011, we launched a petition to the largest Internet companies asking them to stand with their users and be transparent in their practices. Here’s a chart showing how we think each of the companies is doing right now — a gold star indicates that the company is doing a stellar job, a half-star indicates they are taking steps in the right direction. This page will be updated as companies change their practices in response to public demand.”

From Electronic Frontier Foundation