#IMWeekly: November 21, 2014

by adrienne debigare

Syria: 600GB of logs from Internet filtering hardware are leaked by Syrian hacktivist group Telecomix

Syrian hackivist collective Telecomix recently released scores of hardware data pertaining to Internet filtering in Syria. Sale of the technology, developed in California, that gathered this data—all 600GB of it—is banned by the US and EU, but it somehow still ended up in Syrian hands. Nevertheless, the logs are a unique opportunity for activists, data geeks, and human rights advocates to look into the mind of a totalitarian Internet censor.

Global: New Pew Research poll suggests comments breed harassment. 

In what may come as a surprise to no one, a recent Pew Research survey found that 1 in 5 people have been victims of harassment in the comments section of a website. Harassment in comments sections was found to be even more prevalent than harassment on gaming websites.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: Privacy International releases a case study on government surveillance in Central Asia

Privacy International conducted in depth research and interviews regarding the surveillance levers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, former republics of the Soviet Union. In place of USSR surveillance infrastructure, each nation has built a strong national security department that uses foreign technology to monitor journalists, activists, and exiles.

EU: European Parliament drafts a motion to break up Google in long running anti-trust case

The European Parliament may call for the breakup of search engine giant Google. A long-running anti-trust lawsuit against the company has failed to end in a compromise, and the EU Parliament is considering classifying the Internet as something more similar to electricity or gas, rather than a consumer service. In Germany alone, Google commands over 91% market share. However, any public call for a break up would be somewhat unlikely to succeed, as Google is located in the US.

US: The Freedom Act fails to pass the Senate

In a stunning two-vote loss, the Senate killed the long awaited USA Freedom Act, which would have ended the bulk collection of phone records and metadata within the US. The Act also would have extended certain provisions from the controversial Patriot Act, which are unlikely to be otherwise continued after their June 2015 expiration date.

#imweekly is a weekly round-up of news about Internet content controls and activity around the world. To read more, click here.