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Facebook Strikes Deal to Create New Social Network in China

Facebook is reportedly working with China's largest search engine to create a new, jointly owned social network. The collaboration with Baidu would allow Facebook to get a foothold in the Chinese market while giving Baidu the chance to capitalize on Mark Zuckerberg's network-building expertise. The new site would still need to be approved by Chinese's Internet regulators, who retain final say o...

New Book on Google Reveals Details on China, CEO's Political Donations

In his new book, 'In the Plex,' tech journalist Steven Levy traces the history of Google and exposes some juicy details about the company along the way. The New York Times recently reviewed an advanced copy of the book, and highlighted some of its most interesting revelations. Eric Schmidt, for example, reportedly wanted to censor some Google search results in order to hide a political donation...

WSJ: U.S. Companies Helped Censor Internet in Middle East

When the Middle East erupted in revolution earlier this year, many regimes responded to the upheaval by ramping up their online censorship efforts. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, a lot of them had help from American software companies. Throughout the region, governments have been using technologies and tools developed by U.S. firms to clamp down on the Web. McAfee reportedly supplie...

China Ramps Up Online Censorship, To No One's Surprise

China has always maintained tight control over what its citizens read and write online. But according to the New York Times, the Leviathan of governmental censorship seems to be digging its tentacles even deeper into the lives of mainland Web surfers. In the wake of the Middle East protests, the Chinese regime has only ratcheted up its surveillance and censorship of electronic communications...

Censorship Goes Both Ways: The Case for an Ex-Gay App

Perhaps you've heard of this Exodus International iPhone app fracas? The leading organization behind the ex-gay movement (the belief that religious counseling can help LGBT people "struggling" with their sexualities to reorient themselves to heterosexuality) recently had its official app approved by Apple, and gay rights groups are now in an uproar. Surprise? Despite the fact that Apple deemed ...

Chinese Government Messing With Gmail, Google Says

Having trouble with your Gmail in China? Google politely requests that you blame the government, not the company. For several weeks now, users in China have been complaining about glitches within the popular mail program. When Google's engineers looked into the issues, they discovered that the Chinese government was the source of the problem. "Relating to Google there is no issue on our side......

Baidu's Online Maps Avoid Censors by Making China Look Like 'Sim City'

The Chinese government imposes strict regulations on what images can and can't be displayed in overhead photos, making life difficult for services like Google Maps. But Baidu, China's Google equivalent, recently discovered that it could get around the government's restrictions by turning the entire Chinese landscape into one big illustration. The search engine's rendering makes China look a lot...

China's New Search Engine Offers Even More Propaganda for User Enlightenment

The Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government's largest news service, has launched its own search engine, providing China's 450 million Web users with even more party propaganda. The search engine, called Panguso, was created in partnership with government-owned China Mobile -- the world's largest mobile operator with over 550 million customers. In combining Xinhua's news with China Mobile's ...

Facing Calls for 'Jasmine Revolution,' China Tightens Grip on Internet

Taking their cue from the social media-savvy protesters in Egypt and Tunisia, a handful of dissidents in China have begun using the Web to organize their own "Jasmine Revolution." Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government is doing its best to silence them. The New York Times reports that Beijing has orchestrated a massive crackdown on Internet and phone services within the country in an attempt...

Art School Nudity Debacle: Does Facebook Just Make Poor Policy?

After the New York Academy of Art uploaded some images to the school's Facebook page back at the end of January, it received that standard-issue alert: "You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed." The photo in question was an ink-on-paper nude of a woman's torso by Steven Assael, included in an exhibition at Eden Rock Gallery in St. Barth's. When the scho...

Obama Administration to Unveil New Policy on Internet Freedom

The Obama administration is expected to introduce a new policy on Internet freedom today, following weeks of Web-fueled protests in the Middle East. The policy has reportedly been in the works for about a year, but recent events in Tunisia and Egypt have added a new sense of urgency to the issue as the U.S. struggles to balance old alliances in the Middle East with a new wave of reform-driven...

Controversial 'Generation Y' Blog Now Accessible Within Cuba

Yoani Sanchez is a 35-year-old Cuban dissident who regularly criticizes her country's communist regime on her blog, 'Generation Y.' Her outspoken writing has garnered plenty of awards and has been translated into 15 languages. But, since 2008, Generation Y has been blocked within her native Cuba. On Tuesday, however, the Cuban government suddenly re-established access to the blog, much to Sanchez'...

Google Blocks 'Piracy Related' Terms From Autocomplete, Instant Search

Add 'BitTorrent' and 'RapidShare' to the long list of terms for which Google won't help you search. In an apparent attempt to curry favor with the MPAA and RIAA, the company has begun blocking all "piracy related" terms from its Autocomplete feature. (TorrentFreak reports that Instant search results have also been blocked, but searches still instantly appear for us, once we complete the term. It ...

Censored Tunisian Blogger Leaves Detainment, Enters Parliament

Political censorship by oppressive regimes often results in murky facts being distributed on an international scale. Dissidents and citizen journalists -- the important voices who are responsible for reporting on the ground -- frequently end up in Big Brother-style detention. Yet, this week in Tunisia, a unique scene played out, indicating the changing shape of political activism and, perhaps, mo...

RIM Cedes to Indonesia's Demands, Agrees to Block Porn on BlackBerrys

RIM has agreed to block porn sites on all BlackBerry devices within Indonesia, as part of the government's ongoing efforts to rid its country of online smut. In a statement released today, RIM confirmed that it's in negotiations with local service providers to find a "prompt, compliant filtering solution" before the government-imposed deadline of January 21st. If the company does not comply wit...