From social networking sites to megacompanies, tomorrow will be a dark day on the Internet. Wikipedia has joined the list of web giants who plan to shut off temporarily on Wednesday, protesting two bills in Congress that could douse freedom of speech (and freedom of perusal) online.
By Cyrus FarivarPosted 05.06.2010 at 11:17 am 0 Comments
Austin Heap is an unlikely international saboteur, but last summer the San Francisco–based Web developer staged a digital coup in Iran shortly after presidential-election protests took place there. Heap’s Haystack software, smuggled into the country on USB flash drives and passed secretively from citizen to citizen, allowed Iranians to get around the government’s notorious Internet filters and, for the first time, freely explore and communicate on the Web.
The same day China's largest search engine announced plans to launch an e-commerce service, Baidu made headlines for some decidedly not market-friendly practices. Analysts are reporting that the Great Firewall of China—long criticized for its Government-sponsored Internet censorship—has expanded its domain. Three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) along with a handful of other sites appear to have been hijacked, automatically redirecting visitors to Baidu. Previously, the state-controlled routers have been used for strictly censorship purposes. The latest development suggests economic potential.
Though not confirmed, some believe a possible motive lies in the United States' decision, much-protested by Chinese leaders, to award the Dalai Lama a Congressional Gold Medal.—Abby Seiff