Connections severed or slowed and Google Mail blocked in latest anti-Internet offensive

first_img After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists June 9, 2021 Find out more Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa News IranMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iran News September 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Connections severed or slowed and Google Mail blocked in latest anti-Internet offensive Receive email alerts RSF_en center_img Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Organisation Help by sharing this information News News Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s latest offensive against the Internet coinciding with celebrations marking the Islamic Revolution’s 31st anniversary. Online access has again been disrupted, as it is whenever opposition protests are expected. In major cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Ahvaz and Shiraz, Internet connections have been slowed right down, restricted to certain neighbourhoods or entirely suspended in some areas for the past few days. Some mobile phone companies have blocked the sending of SMS messages since the evening of 6 February.The authorities announced yesterday that they were permanently blocking access to Google Mail and would instead create a national email service. The Wall Street Journal quoted an Iranian official as saying the purpose of this move was to promote the development of national technologies and to increase the population’s confidence in the government.Google confirmed that there had been significant decline in Google Mail traffic to Iran and said this was not due to a technical problem on its part. It also said it was aware that Google Mail users in Iran were having difficulties in accessing the service.“The Iranian government has never hidden the fact that it regards new media, especially the Internet, with the utmost suspicion because of the very visible presence of its opponents on social networks,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Its response is to slow or sever connections in an attempt prevent its critics from organising and prevent damaging reports and images from circulating within the country or being sent abroad.“Blocking Google Mail takes the drive to control Iranian cyber-space to a new stage and officialises the war already launched against website-based email services, which are harder to monitor and which have won over the public by their use of Farsi. But this strategy is doomed to failure. Most Iranian Internet users know how to sidestep censorship and access blocked websites and pages.”The press freedom organisation added: “As for the creational of a national email service, if it really goes ahead, we doubt that it will be a success because no one is fooled. Its aim would be to increase online surveillance.” Reporters Without Borders points out that a “national Intranet” announced a few years ago never materialised.The Iranian authorities are able to block access to the Gmail domain name because they have direct control over the telecommunications infrastructure and indirect control of Internet service providers. But Google Mail can still be accessed via proxy servers. Several users told Reporters Without Borders they are still able to use the service by employing tools for circumventing censorship.Use of Google Mail was already disrupted several times recently on the eve of opposition demonstrations. Users were able to write messages but not send them. According to accounts obtained today by Reporters Without Borders from inside Iran, Google Mail has been hard to access for several days because connection speeds have slowed right down. Regarded as safer than its rivals, Google Mail is very popular in Iran and is used by many dissidents. The government’s announcement comes on the heels of Google’s unveiling of a new social-networking service, Google Buzz, which can be accessed directly from within Google Mail and facilitates the distribution of information. Google Mail has also just started to routinely encrypt all communication between users and the website, which must have made it harder for the Iranian authorities to intercept messages.Given that the Internet and, in particular, social-networking services such as Twitter and Facebook played such a major role in circulating information about the protests against the results of last June’s presidential elections, it is not surprising that the authorities took a dim view of the emergence of a new social network.Unable to control the new media, the government has responded by resorting to cyber-attacks, filtering and blocking undesirable websites, including conservative sites at times. It has also developed its online surveillance capabilities, it has put government propaganda online and it has made many arrests. But it still has not been able to stop unwanted information circulating online. At least 18 bloggers and netizens are currently detained.The US authorities have condemned the decision to block Google Mail as an attempt to deny access to information but they said they were convinced that Iranians would find a way to overcome the obstacles that their government put in their way.This is not the first time that Google has had a run-in with a government that restricts Internet access. The company announced on 12 January that, following hacker attacks on the Google Mail accounts of several dozen activists in China, it would stop censoring the results of the Chinese version of its search engine, even if this meant withdrawing from the Chinese market. Google is currently in talks with the Chinese authorities. to go further March 18, 2021 Find out more February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Cairo court to rule on jailed blogger’s appeal

first_img Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution News EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders calls on a Cairo court to release Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, a blogger better known as Kareem Amer, when it considers his appeal tomorrow. The court may decide to refer the case to another court in six months time on the grounds that it can only rule on the questions of law of the case but not facts. Kareem’s lawyers would like a fair retrial, but they are also requesting his release for good conduct on 5 November when he will have completed three-quarters of his four-year sentence. Interior minister Habib Ibrahim Habib Al-Adli is apparently opposed to his release although Egyptian law provides for the possibility.“What legitimacy does the interior minister have for intervening in judicial matters and keeping a blogger in prison ?,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We support Kareem Amer’s lawyers and we urge the country’s highest appeal court to rule in his favour and to order his release on completion of three quarters of his sentence.”The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has urged President Hosni Mubarak to ensure that Kareem is released, noting that the interior minister recently intervened to obtain the release of a police officer convicted of torture. “There is a big difference between a prisoner of conscience and a police officer who had been convicted of one of the most shameful and ruthless crimes – torture,” the ANRI said.Held in Borg-Al-Arab prison since 6 November 2006, when he was jailed at the behest of prosecutor Moharram Bey, Kareem was sentenced to four years in prison on 22 February 2007 on a charge of “inciting hatred of Islam.” Among the various forms of mistreatment in prison, he has been forbidden to leave his cell, he has been denied cell lighting and medical treatment, and he has not been allowed visits since March on the orders of state security officials.Kareem was arrested for criticising discrimination against women, the government’s religious and authoritarian excesses, and Egypt’s leading religious institutions such as the Sunni university of Al-Azhar. He posted his criticism on his blog ( and on the Al Hewar Al Motamaden website.Read and sign the petition for Kareem Amer’s release: to go further Organisation Follow the news on Egypt News Newscenter_img February 6, 2021 Find out more February 1, 2021 Find out more October 19, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Cairo court to rule on jailed blogger’s appeal RSF_en Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison News January 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Horror at execution of Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni

first_imgNews Help by sharing this information RSF_en August 27, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Horror at execution of Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Reporters Without Borders expressed revulsion today at the “barbaric” death of Italian freelance journalist Enzo Baldoni, 56, who was executed in Iraq last night by his kidnappers. “We undertake to do everything possible to ensure that those responsible for this abominable killing are identified and brought to trial,” the organisation said. Organisation Reporters Without Borders expressed revulsion today at the “barbaric” death of Italian freelance journalist Enzo Baldoni, 56, who was executed in Iraq last night by his kidnappers, according to the pan-Arab TV news station Al-Jazeera and the Italian news agency Ansa. The Italian authorities also confirmed and condemned his execution. Baldoni worked for the independent weekly Diario della Settimana.”We are horrified by what has happened,” the international press freedom organisation said. “We express our full support for Enzo Baldoni’s family and friends and we undertake to do everything possible to ensure that those responsible for this abominable killing are identified and brought to trial.”Baldoni’s execution obviously reinforced concerns about French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, of whom there has been no word since 19 August, Reporters Without Borders said. “But their situation is completely different as no one has claimed responsibility for any kidnapping and we continue to think that their nationality works in their favour,” it added.Baldoni went missing on 19 August, and a group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed responsibility for his abduction on 24 August. His kidnappers said they could not continue to guarantee his safety if Italy did not withdraw its troops from Iraq within 48 hours.Baldoni’s family appealed for his release in a message broadcast on 25 August by the Italian public television service Rai Uno. The message, also carried by Al-Jazeera, talked of a “man of peace” and insisted that Baldoni was in Iraq for humanitarian reasons. He had participated in the transport of medicine to Najaf in two convoys operated by the Red Crescent and the Italian Red Cross.Reporters Without Borders had appealed yesterday to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani to use all of his authority to put an end to the tragic series of hostage-takings that has accompanied the fighting in Najaf for nearly two weeks. It stressed that “journalists are civilians and should under no circumstances be used as bargaining chips or as a way to apply political pressure.” Follow the news on Iraq News December 16, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts IraqMiddle East – North Africa News February 15, 2021 Find out more Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News December 28, 2020 Find out more RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” to go further IraqMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

State “incapable” of planning for flooding

first_imgTwitter Maurice Quinlivan appointed Chair of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee WhatsApp TAGSfloodingMaurice QuinlivenSinn Fein Facebook Advertisement Linkedin Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22A GENERAL election candidate has accused the State of being “incapable of strategic planning to protect families and businesses from this near-annual misery”.   James Gaffney, who is Green Party candidate for Limerick City says that climate change means that storms like Storm Frank will happen with greater frequency and intensity.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “Floods cannot be avoided, but Ireland can certainly cope better”, he told the Limerick Post.  He added that for many years, maps showing where floods are likely to occur have been available to local authorities but added that these warnings “have often been ignored by the councils when they grant planning permission. Human construction, such as houses, industrial estates and shopping centres have all happened on the Shannon flood plain”.”It is unforgivable that climate change and flooding is not taken into account when planning our infrastructure and communities.“Afforestation can help – trees can mitigate water movements. Studies show that thanks to their roots, the soil under trees can absorb 67 times more water than soil under grass fields. We in the Green Party support the planting of forests bordering rivers and lakes to protect water quality and assist in managing flood risks.“Before longer term preventative measures are taken, we will continue to have to pour money into reactive measures, such as flood defences and barriers and clean-up operations. We will continue to need to provide emergency relief funds for residents”, he concluded. Email Previous article#WATCH Uber launch centre of excellence in LimerickNext articleSoccer – Grimes takes on Oscar Traynor role Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. center_img Sinn Fein plans for ‘all female’ election candidates are sexist and discriminatory, says male party member snubbed for election run Clonlara couple stuck in their marooned home Print Flood prevention measures continue across parts of Limerick NewsState “incapable” of planning for floodingBy Bernie English – January 11, 2016 785 Limerick Senator has beef with meat industry RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pension issue is hot election topiclast_img read more

Formular 1 star Hamilton set to release own music!

first_img Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?10 Stargazing Locations To ‘Connect With Nature’7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too MuchThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The World’s Most Desirable Fruit – Pink Pineapple10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now Loading… You know formular  1 hero Lewis Hamilton to be the king on the wheel but do you also know him to be a song writer and may be a musician? Well that is what you will get to know as he is set to release his own collection of songs. The Racing super man has spent a decade working on music to help him through “difficult tim He said: “Guys, I’ve spent the last 10 years or more writing and recording, working with some of the most talented and beautiful people which I’m so grateful for. “It’s been the most incredible outlet. Finding something you love so much and can do just for you, for your spirit, is I think such an important process.“I’ve come to the place where I’d love to share it with you. “I haven’t got a project or album, just a bunch of different songs that perhaps some of you will be able to connect to. “They have helped me through some of the most difficult times.”center_img Formulara one star Lewis Hamilton ready to showcase musical talent Lewis also confirmed he sang on the 2018 Christina Aguilera song Pipe under the pseudonym XNDA. The 35-year-old set a new track record at the British Grand Prix on Saturday, while also clinching the 91st pole position of his career. He clocked a time of one minute and 24.303 seconds at the Silverstone circuit, where he has claimed victory a record six times. Read AlsoFemale racing pioneer dumps sports for porn business Hamilton said: “Obviously there’s a relatively big gap between us and third place, but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day – Valtteri (Bottas) is pushing me right to the limit. He’s been doing such a fantastic job all weekend. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more