On Thursday 14 May 2009, the 5th Criminal Chamber of the Court of First Instance in Tunis convicted the 22-year old ICT Student, Mariam Zouaghi, who was in custody, on separate terrorist-related charges, and sentenced her to six years in prison.
Mariam Zouaghi is the first Tunisian woman to be convicted under The Anti-Terrorism Act of 10 December 2003.
In a phone call with Global Voices Advocacy, defense lawyer, Samir Ben Amor, says Mariam maintained her innocence and denied accusations that she belonged to any terror groups. She also stressed that her case was related to her online activities and her support to the people of Gaza.
(Via Global Voices Advocacy.)
BBC News: Seven million ‘use illegal files’
Page last updated at 23:01 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 00:01 UK
Around seven million people in the UK are involved in illegal downloads, costing the economy tens of billions of pounds, government advisors say.
Researchers found 1.3m people using one file-sharing network on one weekday and estimated that over a year they had free access to material worth £120bn.
The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) warned it may be hard to change attitudes.
The government says work must be done internationally to tackle the problem.
Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy said the report put into context the impact illegal downloads had on copyright industries and the UK economy as a whole.
But he added: ‘This is not an issue confined by national boundaries and I am sure that other [EU] member states and their copyright industries will find this report of use in the development of policy.’
An alliance of nine UK bodies representing the creative industries recently joined trades unions in calling on the government to force internet service providers to cut off persistent illegal file-sharers.
They said more than half of net traffic in the UK was illegal content.
Internet service providers say it is not their job to police the web.
The latest report for the SABIP, said the new generation of broadband access at 50Mbps could deliver 200 MP3 files in five minutes, a DVD in three and the complete digitised works of Charles Dickens in less than 10.
It said the seven million people who access files illegally could not all be students and that many of them were uncertain about what was illegal.
The fact that so much on the internet is free only added to the confusion, it said.
Dame Lynne Brindley, SABIP Board member, said: ‘This report gives us some baseline evidence from which we can develop a clear research strategy to support policy development in this fast moving area.’
This is the English version of a German press release on ak-zensur.de
28 May, 2009
Within 12 hours, 60 child pornography sites were removed from the internet
In the ongoing German dispute over the appropriate action against documented child abuse on the Internet(child pornography), the supporters of a mere blocking solution argued that it is often not or only with considerable effort possible to remove the illegsl content or to get hold of it’s originator.
Alvar Freude of the Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur) put this argument to the test. He analyzed the various European blocking lists via automatic procedures and wrote to each provider on whose servers child pornography was located according to lists. He received an impressive response: Within 12 hours after sending the first e-mail 60 websites were already deleted.
Further results and insights:
* The first reactions respectively deletions followed after a few minutes and came among others from the USA, Holland, Denmark, Russia and Germany.
* Three of the the deleted websites were located on servers in Germany.
* A total of 348 providers in 46 different countries were contacted automatically and informed of 1943 allegedly illegal websites. A previous individual analysis of the web sites content has not been made. (It is completely illegal in Germany to look at child pornographic content.)
* 250 providers have responded to the request, but they mostly found legal content. Samples that were taken afterwards confirmed the legal content.
* Ten providers indicated that a total of 61 cases of illegal content had been removed. With a simple e-mail you can achieve a lot.
* The examination through the providers showed that the vast majority of websites, including some from Germany, appeared to have no child pornographic content, some do not contain any objectionable material at all – therefore the websites were blocked in error. In Finland several domestic websites were blocked, that contain a critical examination of the blocking issue.
* The providers have not been informed that some of their hosted websites were put on the blocking lists.
* When made aware of this fact, the providers are more than willing to cooperate and remove illegal content as soon as possible.
* A certain part of the illegal material was located on ‘hacked’ websites, ie sites that were exploited through security holes to spread external material. Here too the providers were very grateful for the supplied information.
The process to shut down websites with child pornographic content does not take longer than the transmission of a blocking list. This shows the absurdity of the reasoning behind simple blocking – there is no rational reason to just block criminal content and leave it on the Internet, still accessible for everyone who uses minimal effort to circumvent the block.
What was possible for a citizens’ initiative, such as the Working Group on Internet blocking and censorship, should be even easier for the German government and law enforcement agencies and their results should by far exceed the results of AK Zensur.
Delete, don’t block – the motto of AK Zensur – is possible!
Released by: Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur)
Web: http://ak-zensur.de/ (in German)
+49 179 13 46 47 1
About the Working Group against Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur):
The Working Group on Internet blocking and censorship (AK Zensur) speaks out against the Federal Government’s planned Internet blocking and promotes an effective fight against child abuse instead of ineffective symbolic politics that only promotes ‘looking the other way’, does not help the victims and establishes an infrastructure that restricts basic public rights. AK Zensur coordinates the work of Internet blocking opponents, but is also appreciates the many activities that are happening decentralized in the on- and offline world.
The members of AK Zensur are amongst others: Chaos Computer Club (CCC), FoeBuD Association, Association of Information Technology and Society (FITUG), Forum of Computer Scientists for Peace and Social Responsibility Association (FIfF), Victims Of Abuse Against Internet Blocks (MOGIS), netzpolitik.org, the online platform ODEM.org, Trotz Allem e.V. and numerous individuals.