There's been a great deal of coverage in the last day or so of Firesheep, a plugin for Firefox that lets you take over the Facebook and Twitter accounts of others on your local network. If you use Firesheep, you can pick one of the people on, say, the same open wireless at your nearby cafe, and then easily view, delete, and add comments using their name on these sites.
New York, October 21, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the health of imprisoned Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukadous. We call upon the Tunisian government to release him immediately.
Access, a global Internet freedom advocacy group, has launched a "No To Nokia" petition as part of a campaign supporting Iranian journalist Issa Saharkiz's lawsuit against Nokia Siemens. The Saharkiz lawsuit claims that Nokia Siemen's sales of mobile tracking technology to Iran was instrumental in allowing the Iranian government to locate the journalist when he went into hiding, and led to his subsequent "inhuman and degrading treatment" in prison. Access' petition demands that Nokia and the countries of the E.U. and U.S. "completely end all sales, support, and service of tracking and surveillance technology to governments with a record of human rights abuses. "
The Saharkiz case is being pursued through the U.S. court system using that country's Alien Torts Act, a statute from 1789 that lets American courts hear human rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct outside the United States. It's not the first time this 18th-century law has been used to address 21st-century press freedom issues. The mother of Shi Tao, the Chinese journalist arrested after information taken from his Yahoo! email account was passed onto the Chinese authorites, sued the American search engine under the same law in 2007. Yahoo! eventually settled that case.
Saharkiz is currently serving a three year sentence for "insulting the Supreme Leader" and "propagating against the regime". In May, Saharkhiz was transferred to a prison in Rajaee Shahr, near Karaj, according to the reformist news website Kalame, where he reportedly suffered a heart attack. CPJ has been unable to determine his current state of health.
New York, October 7, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the deterioration of press freedoms in Egypt ahead of November's parliamentary elections and next year's presidential vote. In particular, CPJ is concerned over the firing on Tuesday of Ibrahim Eissa, the editor-in-chief and founder of the independent daily Al-Dustour.
The World Association of Newspapers on Wednesday honored the jailed Iranian journalist, Ahmad Zaid-Abadi with its Golden Pen of Freedom Award in the German city of Hamburg. Zaid-Abadi, right, was sentenced in 2009 to six years in prison, five years of internal exile, and a lifetime ban on working as a journalist. He is behind bars in Tehran's Evin Prison where, he told Xavier Vidal-Folch, president of World Editor's Forum, "the desperation that jailers create is such that you are convinced it's the end of the world."
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