Freedom House: Thanks to social media, internet freedom is down for the the ninth straight year

Freedom House, a US-government-funded nonprofit think-tank whose mission is to spread democracy, issues an annual "internet freedom" report; this year, for the ninth consecutive year, the report says that internet freedom has declined, and it's all thanks to social media. Read the rest

Google, Mozilla, and Apple are using this one weird trick to block Kazakhstan's surveillance of its own citizens

Google and Mozilla are making changes to their respective web browsers to try and thwart the notoriously corrupt government of Kazakhstan's efforts to launch a surveillance operation against its own citizens. Read the rest

Iran attacks internet access on Islamic Revolution anniversary

At Hacker News, a user named "Sara70" posts:

I'm writing this to report the serious troubles we have regarding accessing Internet in Iran at the moment. Since Thursday Iranian government has shutted down the https protocol which has caused almost all google services (gmail, and google.com itself) to become inaccessible. Almost all websites that reply on Google APIs (like wolfram alpha) won't work. Accessing to any website that replies on https (just imaging how many websites use this protocol, from Arch Wiki to bank websites). Also accessing many proxies is also impossible. There are almost no official reports on this and with many websites and my email accounts restricted I can just confirm this based on my own and friends experience. I have just found one report here. The reason for this horrible shutdown is that the Iranian regime celebrates 1979 Islamic revolution tomorrow.

Jake Appelbaum and the Tor Project folks confirm that Iran is partially blocking encrypted network traffic, and they are trying to help ensure free and safe access for activists (and everyone else inside the country).

More at Washington Post, at CNET, and The Next Web.

(via @jadi)

PHOTO: Iranian schoolgirls chat online at an internet cafe which is exclusively for females, near the city of Karaj, 60km (38 miles) west of Tehran, May 24, 2007. REUTERS. Read the rest