Google Shut Out Privacy and Security Teams From Secret China Project

Found on The Intercept on Friday, 30 November 2018
Browse Censorship

The objective, code-named Dragonfly, was to build a search engine for China that would censor broad categories of information about human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest.

Beaumont and other executives then shut out members of the company’s security and privacy team from key meetings about the search engine, the four people said, and tried to sideline a privacy review of the plan that sought to address potential human rights abuses.

Google’s leadership considered Dragonfly so sensitive that they would often communicate only verbally about it and would not take written notes during high-level meetings to reduce the paper trail, two sources said.

If Dragonfly goes live, Google will be directly responsible for dissidents getting jailed and their possible deaths.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Browse Censorship

Late last week, a Google programmer claimed that their bosses had suddenly banned swear words from internal documents, and even shortened URLs to files were being blocked.

"They grep all the links for swear words and just delete them. Apparently one person who used the 'gimme a random string' option had his link deleted because they randomly got a swear word.

Google has form as a censor of bad language: the Chocolate Factory's speech-to-text translation engine refuses to print swear words without asterisks. Microsoft, too, decided to take a line on this with some of its platforms.

All this censorsho through the backdoor (no pun intended) is disgusting and feels like the first (or already second) step towards a world which you would not like.

Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans to Closely Track Search Users in China

Found on The Intercept on Saturday, 22 September 2018
Browse Censorship

Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers.

Google and China are becoming the same.

Bombshell: PayPal Bans Infowars After Lobbying by Soros-Funded Group

Found on Infowars on Friday, 21 September 2018
Browse Censorship

Company representatives called Infowars yesterday to confirm that PayPal was terminating its agreement after “a comprehensive review of the Infowars site.”

Off record, Infowars was told that criticism of Islam and opposition to transgenderism being taught to children in schools were two of the examples of “hate”.

Paypal is well known for banning whoever it does not like, no matter if it's valid or not.

Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers

Found on The Intercept on Saturday, 15 September 2018
Browse Censorship

The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number.

Sources familiar with Dragonfly said the search platform also appeared to have been tailored to replace weather and air pollution data with information provided directly by an unnamed source in Beijing.

Google will do just everything for money, plain and simple. In fact, most globally acting companies do.

BBC websites blocked in China after security change

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 07 August 2018
Browse Censorship

It has altered all of its addresses from beginning "HTTP" to "HTTPS", which is widely considered to be a more secure connection but is routinely blocked in China.

"In a climate of anxiety around fake news, it's vital that users are able to determine that articles have not been tampered with and that their browsing history is private to them," he wrote.

"The last time BBC services were blocked to this extent in China was in 2014 and we call on all parties to observe the UN Declaration of Human Rights, article 19."

It's not much of a surprise that China does not like encrypted connections where it cannot snoop and block access to various sources of information, like about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, or the problems with the occupation of Tibet.

Facebook Facebook Forced to Block 20,000 Posts About Snack Food Conspiracy After PepsiCo Sues: Report

Found on Gizmodo on Friday, 27 July 2018
Browse Censorship

PepsiCo really doesn’t want anyone talking shit about its corn puffs online. There is a rumor that Kurkure, a corn puff product developed by the company in India, is made of plastic.

In response, PepsiCo obtained an interim order from the Delhi High Court to block all references to this conspiracy theory online in the country, MediaNama reports.

According to MediaNama, PepsiCo petitioned for 3412 Facebook links, 20244 Facebook posts, 242 YouTube videos, six Instagram links, and 562 tweets to be removed, a request the court has granted.

PepsiCo, meet Barbra Streisand. Barbra Streisand, meet PepsiCo.

Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn

Found on Techcrunch on Saturday, 14 July 2018
Browse Censorship

In a paper entitled Internet Filtering and Adolescent Exposure to Online Sexual Material, Oxford Internet Institute researchers Victoria Nash and Andrew Przybylski found that Internet filters rarely work to keep adolescents away from online porn.

This research follows the controversial news that the UK government was exploring a country-wide porn filter, a product that will most likely fail. The UK would join countries around the world who filter the public Internet for religious or political reasons.

Censorship never works.

Internet luminaries urge EU to kill off automated copyright filter proposal

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Browse Censorship

The proposal would see all companies that "store and provide to the public access to large amounts of works" obliged to "prevent the availability… of works… identified by rightholders."

"By inverting this liability model and essentially making platforms directly responsible for ensuring the legality of content in the first instance, the business models and investments of platforms large and small will be impacted," warns the letter signed by "Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf, world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, as well a host of other internet luminaries including Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, security expert Bruce Schneier and net neutrality namer Tim Wu.

Another day, another bad news coming from the EU. It feels like it's just trying to fail harder every day.

In Trying To Ban Telegram, Russia Breaks The Internet

Found on Techdirt on Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Browse Censorship

Telegram tried to mitigate the ban by moving some of its essential infrastructure to third-party cloud services. But Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor responded by blocking upwards of 16 million IP addresses, many belonging to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. Not too surprisingly, the heavy-handed maneuver resulted in connectivity problems across massive swaths of the Russian internet.

Russian state media meanwhile continues to demonize Telegram as a haven for villains, and is directing users to alternatives like TamTam with alleged ties to the Russian government.

Russia (and China, as well as North Korea) are just doing that most other governments would love to do too; they just don't care that much about the backlash and public opinion.