Surveillance

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Spying on news media becomes a dark cloud over Sarkozy's government. (AFP)

Spying on media exposes French government’s dark side

“The freedom of the press and the lie of the state.” The headline Thursday in the influential newspaper Le Monde was bound to make a big splash. While President Nicolas Sarkozy was basking in the glory of his Libyan intervention and celebrating the virtues of democracy, the French “paper of record” was denouncing the dark…

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Catching the Internet’s spies in Iran and elsewhere

In August, Google introduced a new, if rather obscure, security feature to its Chrome web browser, designed to be triggered only under extreme circumstances. If you were talking to Google’s servers using the web’s secure “https” protocol, your browser makes a number of checks to ensure that you are really talking to Google’s servers. Like…

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In Hong Kong, a protester holds a portrait of the jailed writer Liu Xianbin. (Reuters)

In lawsuit, Chinese writers allege Cisco aids government

Three Chinese writers who have spent time in prison for articles published online are suing California-based Cisco Systems Inc., according to international news reports. The suit accuses the company of providing information and technology to Chinese authorities that facilitated the writers’ detentions–allegations that Cisco flatly denies. Chinese security officials have already interrogated one of the…

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Attacks on the Press 2010: Internet Analysis

Exposing the Internet’s shadowy assailants by Danny O’Brien For the past decade, those who used the Internet to report the news might have assumed that the technological edge was in their favor. But online journalists now face more than just the standard risks to those working in dangerous conditions. They find themselves victims of new…

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Facebook enables encryption: a first step on the right road

Facebook is rolling out a a new feature starting today: its users now have an option in their account settings that will protectively encrypt all their Facebook activity as it travels over the Internet. Flipping the switch won’t change much about how you use Facebook, but you’ll see Facebook web addresses will always start with…

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The Nobel Committee, as it turns out, didn't invite the author. A Nobel is going to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. (Reuters/Kin Cheung)

That Nobel invite? Mr. Malware sent it

This weekend, staff at CPJ received a personal invitation to attend the Oslo awards ceremony for Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. The invite, curiously, was in the form of an Adobe PDF document. We didn’t accept. We didn’t even open the e-mail. We did, however, begin analyzing the document to see was really inside…

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Protecting journalists from Firesheep

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…

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Internet blotter

Computers belonging to South Korean government officials have been infiltrated by targeted malware in email. Chinese hackers are suspected. Contrary to what this article says, I’m betting that the attachments were PDFs, which are currently the document of choice when attempting to infect journalists’ machines. Another intriguing academic paper, this time on the structure of…

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Petition highlights Nokia sales to Iran

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…

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NYT: On the UK phone-hacking scandal

IN NOVEMBER 2005, three senior aides to Britain’s royal family noticed odd things happening on their mobile phones. Messages they had never listened to were somehow appearing in their mailboxes as if heard and saved. Equally peculiar were stories that began appearing about Prince William in one of the country’s biggest tabloids, News of the…

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