Jun 20

google-chrome

Beijing has ordered Google to stop users of its Chinese-language service accessing overseas websites in the biggest blow to the world’s leading search engine in China since it started operating there four years ago.

In a move that could disrupt Google’s growth in China, which now has more internet users than the US, the Chinese government said it had told Google to suspend foreign searches and a feature that automatically suggests multiple search results once typing commences in the search window.

The action comes amid a storm of outrage among Chinese internet users over Beijing’s order that every new PC sold in the country be equipped with censorship software, ostensibly to block pornography. One senior US internet figure said the move against Google appeared to be an attempt to deflect attention away from the domestic censorship uproar by redirecting concerns about pornography against a foreign company.

According to state media on Friday, authorities said Google was being “punished” for linking to pornographic content.

On Thursday, in a “law enforcement talk”, the government announced that it was ordering the company to suspend foreign searches and automated keywords, according to Xinhua, the official news agency, and China Central Television, the main state broadcaster.

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Apr 10

Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff has dropped the bomb.

At a speech to hundreds of security professionals Wednesday, Chertoff declared that the federal government has created a cyber security “Manhattan Project,” referencing the 1941-1946 project led by the Army Corps of Engineers to develop American’s first atomic bomb.

According to Wired’s Ryan Singel, Chertoff gave few details of what the government actually plans to do.

He cites a little-noticed presidential order: “In January, President Bush signed a presidential order expanding the role of DHS and the NSA in government computer security,” Singel writes. “Its contents are classified, but the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has said he wants the NSA to monitor America’s internet traffic and Google searches for signs of cyber attack.”

The National Security Agency was the key player in President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was revealed by the New York Times in 2005.

Sound familiar? Yesterday, documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the Freedom of Information act showed the FBI has engaged in a massive cyber surveillance project that targets terror suspects emails, telephone calls and instant messagesand is able to get some information without a court order.

Last week, the ACLU revealed documents showing that the Pentagon was using the FBI to spy on Americans. The military is using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions and telephone companies, according to Pentagon documents. Continue reading »

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