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Blog   |   Burma, China, Internet, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Russia, Sweden, Tunisia

Protecting yourself from denial-of-service attacks

It's my second link to a report by Hal Roberts (and others at the Berkman Center) in as many days, but I worry that this this detailed document on denial-of-service (DOS) and hacking attacks on independent media and human rights groups might get missed in the holiday season.

The news headlines in the last few weeks have been full of stories of how DOS attacks can bring down even high-profile websites, often with relatively little technical expertise on behalf of the attackers. Such attacks are nothing new to online journalists across the world, however. Just this year, CPJ has dealt with cases of independent news sites being taken offline by remote Internet attacks in China, Burma, Vietnam, Russia, Kazakhstan, and now Belarus.

The Berkman Center's report details over three hundred other cases from 1998 onwards, from Sweden to North Korea. More important, the researchers interviewed the victims of these attacks, and categorized what defenses were practical and effective -- and what did not work.

If you're an online journalist with powerful opponents, I'd strongly encourage you to read this document and pass it along to your tech-savvy associates. Even a small amount of preparation can help keep vital news and opinion available online when you -- and your readers -- most need it.

December 21, 2010 3:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   North Korea

News with a genuine North Korea dateline

A book named Rimjin-gang--News from Inside North Korea just became available. It's a compilation of years of reporting by a group of about 12 North Koreans using video and still cameras to record everyday life in North Korea. The title comes from the Rimjin River (Imjin in English), which forms part of the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea. Japanese and Korean readers have been able to read the Rimjin-gang magazine since 2007.  

Ishimaru Jiro, Rimjingang's editor and publisher, is the driving force behind organizing a group of North Koreans, to whom he gave video and still cameras. He works with Asia Press, a cooperative started in Japan in 1987 to foster independent journalism in Asia.
November 15, 2010 2:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Internet, North Korea, South Korea

Korea Times: Censorship on pro-NK websites tightens

The Korea Times documents the disturbing increase in censorship of writing about North Korea, with the police forcing website operators to remove 42,787 pro-North Korean comments. This may be due to an increase in North Korean government attempts to enter the online debate, but some point to the general anti-Net sentiment of the Lee administration.

Oh Chang-ik, director of the Citizens Solidarity for Human Rights, defined the sudden surge of censorship as "post trauma" of the Lee administration following nationwide candlelight vigils against U.S. beef imports in 2008.

This is one of the risks when "the Internet" is characterized as the medium of choice of one political group over another. Lee's predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun, was seen as the Net-enabled President; the Lee administration has been far more sceptical of online publications, and concerned about their affects on local and international politics. Such an increase in control can't be good for the freedom of the Korean press online.

September 11, 2010 4:40 AM ET

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