Links for week ending 24 September 2010

[with apologies for late posting]

Mozambique blocked texts during food riots
The BBC report that authorities in Mozambique moved to block text messaging services across Maputo during recent food riots in the capital. Mobile phones had played a key role in organising the protests.

Jailed Iranian blogger may face death penalty
Global Voices report that Tehran’s prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for Hossein Derakhshan (also known as “Hoder”, the author of influential Iranian blog Editor:Myself). Derakhshan has been in prison in Iran for nearly two years: “The reasons for Hoder’s initial arrest upon his return to Iran from Canada in 2008 remain unclear, but many speculated that his two (highly publicised) trips to Israel were the primary reason.” [Read update here]

Internet at Liberty 2010 takes place in Budapest
The Internet at Liberty conference, co-sponsored by Google and the Central European University, took place in Budapest, Hungary this week. The conference was designed to “address the boundaries of online free expression” and panellists included many current and former Information Program grantees. Jillian York live-blogged many of the most interesting sessions.

EPIC sues for details of NSA agreement with Google
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is suing the US National Security Agency (NSA) to disclose details of a reported agreement it has made with Google to work together to respond to cyber attacks. The move follows the NSA’s refusal to grant EPIC access to the information via the Freedom of Information Act.

Google releases “Transparency Report”
Google launched a new service this month which aims to show users disruptions that occur to the free flow of information across its servers, either because of government requests to takedown information, or because of network outages. The site also shows how many requests Google receives from governments across the world to hand over data about its users.

Bill would give US Justice Department power to disrupt piracy sites worldwide
Wired’s Threat Level blog reports that US lawmakers have introduced a bill that could allow court orders to “shut down” piracy websites via the domain registry system: “If passed, the Justice Department could ask a federal court for an injunction that would order a US domain registrar or registry to stop resolving an infringing site’s domain name, so that visitors to, for example, would get an error message.”

The internet freedom fallacy and Arab digital activism
Global Voices’ Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia airs his concerns about the US State Department’s Internet Freedom policy in this important and thoughtful essay.

Policing content in the quasi-public sphere
The Open Net Initiative release a new bulletin on the way social media and blogging platforms limit speech online through their terms of service and takedown policies.

Citizen journalism, social media and Mexican drug-related violence
David Sasaki’s presentation to the Austin Forum on Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking looks at drug-related violence in Mexico through the prism of citizen journalism and social media.

Technology and education – New York Times special issue
The New York Times magazine devotes an entire issue to technology and education. Includes articles from Jaron Lanier and Kevin Kelly, and a history of technology in the classroom.

Academics rethinking internet architecture
This short feature details some next-generation internet research projects that could lead to fundamental changes in the architecture of the net. Included are projects related to linked data, mobile, and security in the cloud.

Podcast: IEEE Spectrum – This week in technology
Steven Cherry talks to political scientist Stefan Hertog about why a surprisingly disproportionate number of convicted terrorists are engineers in this episode of the excellent podcast series produced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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