In Activism, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Society, World News on April 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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Following pressure from the US Government, Canada is preparing to ram through a revamped copyright bill that will have disastrous consequences for consumers.
Michael Geist, prof. E-commerce Law in Ottawa, previously describedthe bill as “the most anti-consumer copyright bill in Canadian history.”
When the new bill passes it will open the door for widespread interception and monitoring of Internet users. To protect Canadians from these ‘rights violations” the Pirate Party Canada will soon launch a VPN service.
With this VPN Canadians can protect themselves, and at the same time the also help people in other countries where Internet censorship is rampant. Previously, Pirate Party Canada already provided citizens of Tunisia with free VPNs when the Government censored the Internet there.
“We will provide VPN service to Canadians at a rate of 10$/ 200GB. For every paid account we open, we will also provide a free VPN account to a citizen of a nation with censored Internet,” Said party leader Mikkel Paulson today.
“This allows us to simultaneously provide protection to Canadians and expand our humanitarian support abroad. No logs will be kept of the activity, although we will of course cooperate with law enforcement in the event of abuse of our services.”
The Pirate Part VPN will be released to the public soon, more details will come available in the coming days.
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In Activism, Egypt, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, World News on February 15, 2011 at 10:20 am
Guest author Ahmed Zidan lives in Egypt and is the editor of Mideast Youth. The Egyptian protesters have overthrown Mubarak after nearly 30 years. Egypt has come second in row after Tunisia. The two revolutions, the Tunisian and the Egyptian, have succeeded. Egypt has seen its first people's revolution, and over 18 days many things changed until the regime was totally uninstalled.
Let’s trace the protests back across the Mediterranean. The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid was the spark for the massive Tunisian protests that overthrew then-president Ben Ali. The Tunisian protests, in turn, were the spark for Egypt’s #Jan25. And it’s very relevant to name it #Jan25, because it was totally Internet driven. (Other names include the Jan. 25 Revolution, Revolution of Anger, and lately Tahrir Revolution, an Arabic equivalent for Revolution of Liberation.) It’s not an overstatement to say that #SidiBouzid is the sole parent of #Jan25, and created a domino effect that will not stop in Egypt.
This is the first organized revolution of its kind in the history of mankind. It began with a Facebook page We Are All Khaled Said that called for this uprising. The social media tools were very critical in sparking these protests; the Internet is unmistakably the origin of the Egyptian protests. And once it broke loose, the Internet proved to be a very important tool for sharing news about the different demonstrations around Egypt.
However, momentum was already building and the Egyptians already knew their route to the streets. That’s why when the Internet was blocked around the country in the early hours of Jan. 28, as well as a total blackout on all mobile networks, it never affected the ongoing protests and actually backfired on the government: netizens marched into the streets instead of checking Twitter trends online.
The freedom of the Internet is a major headache for totalitarian regimes around the world, and that’s why they all emulate the same violations against freedom of expression. By and large, it would be very fair to name the Egyptian Revolt as the first Internet Revolution of the era.
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In Activism, Egypt, Human Rights on February 15, 2011 at 1:47 am
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The night before he finally stepped down as Egypt‘s president, the protesters in Tahrir Square heard Hosni Mubarak deliver his final address as their head of state. “A speech from a father to his sons and daughters,” he called it, and like many of his orations in the past, it was filled with lies, although he may have believed some of these himself. He would stay as president until September, he promised, because the country needed him for a transition to democracy. This, after three decades of autocracy. The hundreds of thousands gathered in the square wanted to hear him say only one word: “Goodbye.” Amid their screams of fury, one woman could be heard shouting into a phone, “People are sick of the soap opera!” The protesters had reason to be weary of the president’s final, delusional public performance. But there was another long drama coming to an end that night, mostly out of public view—a personal story that helps to explain the president whose stubborn incomprehension of his “sons and daughters” dragged Egypt so close to ruin. Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Daniel Kurtzer has called it the “tragedy” of the Mubaraks. As Kurtzer says of the Egyptian president, “He really did feel he was the only one holding the dike”—as if beyond Mubarak lay the deluge. Mubarak’s fall is not a story like the one that unfolded in Tunisia, of a dictator and his kin trying to take their country for all it was worth. Although there have been widely reported but poorly substantiated allegations of a $40 billion to $70 billion fortune amassed by the Mubarak family, few diplomats in Egypt find those tales even remotely credible. “Compared to other kleptocracies, I don’t think the Mubaraks rank all that high,” says one Western envoy in Cairo, asking not to be named on a subject that remains highly sensitive. “There has been corruption, [but] as far as I know it’s never been personally attached to the president and Mrs. Mubarak. They don’t live an elaborate lifestyle.” Despite the uprising of millions of people in Egypt’s streets, despite their ringing condemnations of secret-police tactics and torture, the Mubarak family remained convinced that everything the president had done was for the country’s own good. “We’re gone. We’re leaving,” the deeply depressed first lady, Suzanne Mubarak, told one of her confidantes as the crisis worsened last week. “We’ve done our best.”