Saturday, March 12, 2016

Press freedom group fights online censorship with mirror sites

Press freedom campaigner Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has made six more news sites, including Sarawak Report, accessible in countries where they are currently blocked as part of efforts to thwart Internet censorship. "Operation Collateral Freedom #2" mirrors copies of the blocked sites on a cloud hosting service provided by major Internet companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google. RSF said it had also created a censorship detector app, an extension to the Google Chrome browser to facilitate access to the mirror version of the targeted sites. "Whoever goes to one of these blocked sites will see the icon of the RSF Censorship Detector app turn red. By clicking on it, they will be automatically redirected to RSF's unblocked mirror," RSF said. On February 25, The Malaysian Insider was blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over a report on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) oversight panel. The MACC panel had recommended the resubmission of its investigation papers on SRC International Sdn Bhd to the attorney-general, as there was enough evidence to frame charges against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. MCMC had also blocked 52 new media websites and investigated 14 social media abuse cases since the setting up of the special committee to combat abuse of social media in January. RSF's Operation Collateral Freedom #1, launched a year ago, made online information accessible in countries where it was banned and to dissuade "Enemies of the Internet" from targeting news websites. This year, RSF is providing access to six other sites blocked in their respective countries – Radio Free Asia and Defend the Defenders (Vietnam), Sarawak Report (Malaysia), Boxun (China), (Turkey) and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (Saudi Arabia). In the past year, the servers dedicated to Operation Collateral Freedom have handled more than 64 million requests and provided more than 587GB of data. Today, March 12, is also World Day Against Cyber-Censorship. – March 12, 2016. ]]>

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