#IMWeekly: December 18, 2014

by adrienne debigare

China: The effect of “Chinese characteristics” on the Internet

As the web continues to grow, and debates about its governance structure take place internationally, China is investing significant time and energy pushing the ideology of Internet Sovereignty: that nation-states have the authority to govern the Internet as part of their domestic and foreign affairs. This puts China at odds with the US and its belief in an “inclusive and distributed stakeholder structure.”

International: Freedom on the Net report released

Freedom House releases their fifth annual “Freedom on the Net” report. Unfortunately, the report catalogues a four year decline in Internet freedom. Among the causes, the report notes a rise in “problematic new laws ...in democratic and authoritarian countries alike,” arrests of journalists and activists and an increase of surveillance.

US: ICANN experiences phishing attack 

ICANN, the independent non-profit that manages many of the functions of the Internet, released a statement saying that it had been the victim of a “spear phishing” attack, in which a message that appears to come from within a company is actually a scam aimed at collecting personal data.

US: Electronic Frontier Foundation will sue over NSA upstream data collection

In Jewel v. NSA on Friday, the EFF argued that customers of AT&T had their rights violated through the upstream data collection initiative of the NSA. The case, which was filed in 2008, was initially thrown out, but enough data was later gathered to add legitimacy to the argument.

Iran: Country will block content based on individual demographics

In attempt to ease Internet filtering, Iran will be implementing so-called “Smart Filtering” in the next six months that will target individuals based on “age profession and the needs of users.”