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Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government, in Defense of WikiLeaks

The notorious band of hackers known as Anonymous has taken down the Tunisian government's website, in apparent retaliation for the country's decision to block WikiLeaks. The country's WikiLeaks embargo went into effect in early December, when the government blocked not only the whistle-blowing website, but any other news organization publishing diplomatic cables related to Tunisia. Officials also ...

China Declares Skype Illegal

After having already banned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the Chinese government has now decided to outlaw Skype, as well. The move, announced in the People's Daily, means that all Internet phone services will now be considered illegal within the country, except for those offered by two state-operated telecom companies -- China Unicom and China Telecom. In 2007, Skype launched a joint venture ...

The Worst of 2010: A Horrible Year for Technology, the Internet and Humankind

December is the month that marks Christmas, Boxing Day and Emily Dickinson's birthday. It's also the time of year that we face endless Year In Review lists, posted across every form of media. Most of these lists focus on The Best, The Greatest, The Most Memorable. Well, isn't that cheery? But, you see, 2010 was a horrible year, and it doesn't deserve self-congratulatory pats on the back. Sure, ...

Jaron Lanier on WikiLeaks: Information Doesn't Always Want to Be Free

"Would a world without secrets be fairer, or more compassionate? More efficient? Does it matter if some secrets are revealed before others?" Cyberpunk pundit, digital culture cognoscente and frequently professional contrarian Jaron Lanier wonders aloud about the value of WikiLeaks over at The Atlantic. Better and more authoritative analyses of the impact made by the leaked cables have been publish...

British Conservatives Want to Block Web Porn

The Conservative Party in the U.K. is pushing for ISPs to start filtering content at the source, blocking pornography by default. The plan is being promoted by Conservative MP Claire Perry and Communications Minister Ed Vaizey. Unsurprisingly, children are being cited as the reason for all the hubbub, as the party wants to protect British youngsters from being exposed to sexually explicit content ...

EcuRed Is Cuba-Friendly Wikipedia Alternative

Wikipedia is a seemingly bottomless and damn-near indispensable source of information in our modern world. So, it's only natural that oppressive regimes like Cuba would seek to control the flow of information by creating their own alternative to the community-created encyclopedia. The site, called EcuRed, launched Tuesday with over 19,000 entries, a far cry from the over 3.5 million found on the ...

Facebook Removes Breast Cancer Survivor's Nude Photos, Realizes That Was a Dumb Idea

Anna Antell is a breast cancer survivor, and she's proud of it. After undergoing a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the 43-year-old mother of three posed nude for a photo exhibition at the Oxford Malmaison Hotel. The exhibition featured several other cancer survivors, and was intended to celebrate their bravery and courage, while raising breast cancer awareness. According to Facebook, th...

Palestinian Man Faces Life Sentence for Declaring Himself 'God' on Facebook

The Palestinian Authority has arrested a 26-year-old West Bank blogger for calling himself "God" on Facebook. The suspect, Walid Husayin, works as a barber in the conservative town of Qalqilya, where the locals describe him as a devout family man. When he surfs the Web, though, Husayin apparently takes on an entirely different persona. As the AP reports, Husayin is now facing a sentence of lif...

Amazon Relents, Pulls Bestselling Pedophilia Guide From Kindle Bookstore

When a book offering guidance on how to be a pedophile inexplicably landed in the Kindle's list of Top 100 Paid Bestsellers, Amazon suddenly found itself at the center of a brewing national controversy. Thousands of users posted comments of anger and disgust, and many even threatened to boycott the retailer. Through it all, Amazon held firm, and steadfastly refused to remove the title -- until now...

YouTube Removes Videos From Radical Islamic Cleric al-Awlaki

Yesterday, YouTube suddenly purged its site of hundreds of videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-profile Islamic cleric who used the video-sharing platform to issue calls for jihadist violence against the U.S. The American-born al-Awlaki is currently based in Yemen, and has been tied to Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Christmas Day bomber Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab and Faisal Shazad (the man beh...

Chinese Police Arrest Woman for Supporting Liu Xiaobo on Twitter

The Chinese government's offensive against supporters of political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo apparently knows no bounds. After having already placed Liu's wife and friends on house arrest, the government has now turned its attention to Twitter. According to the Guardian, freelance designer Mou Yanxi was reportedly targeted by Chinese police after posting a tweet about he...

North Korea Celebrates 65th Anniversary by Opening up the Internet

In the U.S., most Americans celebrate national anniversaries with fireworks and barbecues. North Koreans, on the other hand, are celebrating their ruling party's 65th birthday with something way more exciting: the Internet. According to IDG News, the hermetic communist country has reportedly made its first online connection with the outside world in celebration of the ruling Workers' Party of ...

China Blocking News of Nobel Winner Liu Xiaobo with Great Firewall

The world was abuzz today with news that jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Except in China, that is, where the country's censors were working overtime to expunge his name from all media. It's not enough that state owned news station and papers won't report on Xiaobo's win, the country is also blacking out commercial stations like CNN during segments in which they r...

Go.vn, Vietnam's Communist Answer to Facebook

When you're running an authoritarian regime that's hellbent on dictating the flow of information to its citizenry, how do you deal with an entity like Facebook, born in freedom-loving America? Why, you just build your own site, and ban the 'Book. Vietnam launched a trial version of Go.vn, the Communist version of the social network, back in May, but it's heavy emphasis on the lives of Ho Chi Minh...

T-Mobile Asserts Right to Censor Text Messages in Federal Lawsuit

T-Mobile's decision to block specific messages sent across its network has now resulted in a federal lawsuit that may have far-reaching implications for wireless providers seeking to exercise more control over their platforms. As Wired reports, the wireless service is being sued by EZ Texting, a company that offers short code text messaging services to third-party clients. Companies who sign up...