Syria Utilizes “Kill Switch” as Internet Freedom Debate Heats Up
Africa, Asia, Broadband's Impact, International, Wireless
June 17th, 2011
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 – In the past year, there has been an extensive push for universal access to Internet, seen as the ultimate democratizing tool enabling two-way communication between governors and the governed. But the reality of a ‘digital divide’ leaves the majority of the world’s population without access to the technological infrastructure to support its use. And those who do have access are sometimes more vulnerable to restriction on political basis, as seen in the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
State Department Funds Shadow Internet Networks to Protect Free Speech Rights
Africa, Asia, Broadband's Impact, International, Mobile Broadband, Wireless
June 13th, 2011
WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 – The U.S. State Department has acknowledged funding the establishment of independent “shadow” internet and cell-phone networks in countries with oppressive regimes, according to a Sunday New York Times article.
The effort is part of a broader “liberation technology movement” critical in the recent popular uprisings in Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria – the more recent events are commonly referred to as the “Arab Spring.” The liberation technology refers to the use of information technology to expand political, social, and economic freedom.
U.N. Special Rapporteur: Internet Censorship Violation of Basic Human Rights
Broadband's Impact, Cybersecurity, International
June 6th, 2011
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 – The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, presented his report on freedom of expression and the Internet to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, concluding that Internet access is a basic human right.
In what was hailed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a ‘landmark report,’ La Rue’s report also declared that disconnecting individuals from the Internet goes against international law.