Times of India — BEIJING: Apple confirmed Friday its iTunes Movies and iBooks service have become unavailable in China, after reports authorities ordered them to be taken offline. “We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible,” a spokeswoman for Apple, the US technology giant, said in a statement.
Tech in Asia — China’s live streamers, it seems, have been getting a little bit too bawdy. On Thursday, China’s state-run television network CCTV announced that all of the major streaming platforms – Douyu, Panda.tv, Huya, YY, Zhanqi TV, etc. – are under investigation by China’s Ministry of Culture. These platforms stand accused of hosting content that was too vulgar/sexual, too violent, and even content that incites users to commit crimes.
Digital Trends — Twitter isn’t going to let a paltry ban on its platform stop it from chasing down lucrative advertising revenue in China. The microblogging network’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, has made official the appointment of a greater China managing director, a key executive position within the company.
Times of India — BEIJING: China’s online censorship system protects national security and does not discriminate against foreign companies, the country’s internet regulator said, after the United States labelled the blocking of websites by Beijing a trade barrier. The US Trade Representative (USTR) wrote in an annual report that over the past year China’s web censorship has worsened, presenting a significant burden to foreign firms and internet users.
Japan Times — HONG KONG – China’s government is moving to tighten its grip over the Internet as it rolls out draft rules that will effectively ban Web domains not approved by local authorities, including possibly the most widely used .com and .org addresses.
Value Walk — Chinese users were able to access the search giant’s services through Google.com, Google.com.hk, Google.com.vn, and Google.com.sg. Chinese bloggers shared the news that the services were accessible from 11:30 p.m. on Sunday until censors pulled the plug at 1:15 a.m. on Monday. Technology blog Pingwest reported that access was available around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Sunday and that other services like email and Google photos were accessible as well.
Times of India — BEIJING: China’s government is proposing new regulations governing where businesses register their web addresses, a move that could strengthen its ability — and legal standing — to censor the internet. Under new draft regulations released this week by the ministry of Industry and Information Technology, any firm that provides services to Chinese internet users must register its domain, or web address, with the authorities.
Tech in Asia — Citizens of mainland China unexpectedly found themselves with unfettered access to Google search late last night, commencing a golden age of censorship-free searching that lasted all of 105 minutes. For the duration of the film Edward Scissorhands, lasting from 11:30pm on Sunday to 1:15am on Monday morning, Google’s search – but not other services like Gmail or Youtube – was unblocked, according to the South China Morning Post.
China is set to ban foreign media companies from publishing any content online without the government’s approval from next month, it has been announced. A new directive issued by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said that companies which have, at least in part, foreign ownership will be stopped from publishing words, pictures, maps, games, animation and sound of an “informational and thoughtful nature” – unless they have approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Tech in Asia — Chinese New Year is usually a pretty quiet time for China’s social media censors. People are usually at home with family rather than out on the streets protesting. But this year, Hong Kongers took to the streets over a police crackdown on local fishball vendors and other street peddlers, and things got pretty extreme. Eventually it became a riot, with people throwing bricks and other projectiles, and police resorting to tear gas and even reportedly firing warning shots.
Times of India — KUALA LUMPUR: Digitally savvy Malaysian police have been taking to social media to issue warnings to critics of scandal-hit Prime Minister Najib Razak in an unusual online campaign that critics say is unlikely to work. Najib is facing the biggest political crisis in his seven-year premiership over a multi-billion dollar scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and over deposits of $681 million in his private bank account.
Channel News Asia — BANGKOK: Thailand’s military government will try to persuade media companies Facebook and Line to comply with court orders to remove content it considers harmful to peace and order, a senior official said Sunday. The junta-appointed NRSA advisory council plans to meet executives from the two companies in the next three months, council member Major General Pisit Paoin told Reuters.
HRW — (New York) – Singapore’s government increased scrutiny of the Internet in a year in which it further restricted rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. “In 2015, bloggers and online news portals increasingly faced punitive action for any criticism of the government,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director.
Enterprise Innovation — The anti-terrorism law released last week by the State Council of China requires telecommunications and internet service providers (ISPs) to provide technical support to the security authority and prevent dissemination of information on terrorism, according to law firm DLA Piper.
Tech in Asia — China and Google don’t exactly get along. Since the firm’s earliest days, when China’s internet users were only a tiny sliver of what they are today, Google and its growing array of web services have been blocked, censored, slowed down, hacked, and attacked. But there were good times, too. Sort of. We’ve collected some of the highest and lowest points of Google’s China history here. Maybe we’ll have some good news to add in 2016.
The rise of the internet in China has forced the government, the private sector and individuals in China to pay as much attention to information and cyber security as they do to censorship. The government has devised a series of plans since 2012 to better protect cyber security and these plans are expected to boost the development of related industries, the Securities Weekly reported. They may well also provide a useful pretext for furthering the government’s control over freedom of discourse on the web.
An activist group working to end China’s Internet censorship is facing an ongoing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that threatens to cripples its activities. GreatFire.org, a censorship watchdog based within the country, reported on Thursday that it had been hit with its first ever DDoS attack. Although it’s not known who is behind the attack, China has been suspected of using the tactic before to take down activist websites.
Greatfire.org, the outspoken activist website that openly fights against web censorship in China, reported yesterday it is under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Greatfire representative Charlie Smith (a psuedonym) says the attack began shortly after the website was cited in a Wall Street Journal article describing tactics used to circumvent China’s censors and make mirrors of blocked websites accessible from the mainland.
Part of Indonesia’s future development hinges on how quickly and efficiently the world’s fourth most populous nation is able to embrace digitization and make it work in its favor. The man in charge of shepherding Indonesia’s digital development is Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Rudiantara. He was inaugurated in October 2014 as part of President Joko Widodo’s new cabinet.
WASHINGTON: A US-subsidized advocacy group that helps internet users inside China bypass blockages on censored content says it is suffering a mysterious denial-of-service attack disrupting its operations. Greatfire.org says the attack started two days ago and internet traffic is 2,500 times above normal. It says the attack has affected “mirror,” or duplicate, websites that it has set up via encrypted web services offered by companies like Amazon.
Australian law enforcement and government agencies are asking for increasingly more data on Facebook users, the latest figures from the social media giant show. In the six months from July to December last year, Australian government agencies requested 36 percent more data on Facebook user accounts than in the previous six month period. Facebook’s latest twice-yearly government requests report reveals it received 829 requests for user data on 933 accounts from Australia. It handed over the data on 69 percent of requests.
NEW DELHI: Facebook Inc recorded a slight increase in government requests for account data in the second half of 2014, according to its Global Government Requests Report, which includes information about content removal. Requests for account data increased to 35,051 in the second half of 2014 from 34,946 in the first half, with requests from countries such as India rising and those from others including United States and Germany falling, the report by the world’s largest internet social network showed.
WeChat, the most popular messaging app and social network in China with 468 million monthly active users, yesterday set in stone 10 rules for users posting to the app’s news feed, called Moments in English (h/t to 36kr for spotting). An article from the WeChat Security Center says the service will “resolutely crack down on all kinds of illegal content and behavior.
Signals intelligence agencies in Australia and New Zealand spy on friendly countries in the Pacific, gathering up full communications that are forwarded to the United States National Security Agency (NSA), acccording to leaked documents. The documents are the latest leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and were published jointly by the New Zealand Herald and The Intercept.
China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO) today reported the country’s popular social networks have wiped out roughly 60,000 fake accounts in authorities’ latest campaign to cleanse the internet of impersonators, according to Techweb. The top three social networks – Sina Weibo, and Tencent’s WeChat and QQ – conducted the cleanup internally after the SIIO announced new regulations would go into affect this Sunday, March 1.
NEW DELHI: The government will be monitoring online activities of bureaucrats on official computers, block content which it feels is adversely affecting the productivity of the babus and also have a right to delete e-mails or internet history on such computers after intimating the user. The measures are a part of twin notifications issued by the Narendra Modi government on February 18 by which the use of private e-mail networks like Gmail and Yahoo has now also been officially banned for all government use.
BEIJING, Feb 27 — Some of China’s largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at “rectifying” online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.
NEW DELHI: The government has given the task of identifying objectionable content on the internet to industry body IAMAI, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Parliament today. “Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an association of content providers, has been mandated to prepare a list of objectionable sites, particularly pornographic websites, available on internet. “The identified sites will then be considered for disabling,” Prasad told Rajya Sabha. At present, Indian arms of leading internet companies occupy top ranks at IAMAI.
BEIJING: Some of China’s largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at “rectifying” online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.
If you use any of China’s online services and you’ve got a cheeky username, we’ve got some bad news for you: judgement day is drawing nigh. Starting on Sunday March 1, government regulations banning the use of certain kinds of nicknames online in China will go into effect, and Chinese tech companies will be forced to crack down. Wondering if your username will be affected? Here’s what’s banned under the new rules: