Libya Shuts Off Internet Again: This Week in Online Tyranny
Libya shuts down the Internet again. Libya shut down the Internet for a brief period in mid-February. Then again on March 3, it shut it down completely and it has remained off.
This has not had what we can presume is the desired end of this action, the end of the revolt. Nor has it kept information from getting out of the country. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, a lot of the information we get is distributed by Libyan expatriates who are in contact with protesters inside the country.
Saudi Facebook protester disappeared. Faisal Ahmed Abdul-Ahadwas, believed by some of his fellow protesters to be one of the administrators of a Facebook group calling for a “Day of Rage” on March 11, has disappeared and is believed to have been murdered by Saudi security. The Facebook page has 17,000 members.
The killing, if it was a killing, is a concrete example of how serious the kingdom is in saying it won’t “tolerate” protests.
Zimbabwe arrests 45 for viewing Egypt protest footage and makes its first “Facebook arrest.” 45 Zimbabweans were arrested for attending a meeting called “Revolt in Egypt and Tunisia: What lessons can be learnt by Zimbabwe and Africa?” where they watched DVDs of Egypt news coverage.
Zimbabwean Vikas Mavhudzi left a comment on the Facebook account of opposition politician Morgan Tsvangirai saying that the protesters in Egypt had a “unity of purpose worth emulating” and was arrested for “subverting a constitutional government.”
China’s internal security budget – including online censorship – passes military. Partially in response to the uprisings in the Middle East, China has blocked many words associated with those uprisings and begun to arrest protesters and possible protesters. Most dramatically, it has also increased its internal security budget by almost 14%. They are now spending more money on keeping the reins on their people than defending the nation from outside threats.
Syrian blogger dies. Karim Arbaji, who was imprisoned for publishing a poem the regime did not like, was freed from prison a year ago. Several days ago he died of a heart attack. It’s hard to imagine his time in prison did not negatively effect his health.
Facebook closes account of well-known Chinese critic. Michael Anti, a highly regarded Chinese blogger, had his Facebook account shut down allegedly because he used an alias. In the meantime, the company’s CEO has started a page for his dog. I’ll repeated that. Facebook shut down an account of an important thinker in contemporary China because “Michael Anti” isn’t a real person, and they made one for a dog.