It’s happening all over these days - and not just in the Middle East. This is a trend. It’s starting in the US now.
San Francisco California - Aug 13, 2011 - link
In a controversial move that has riled up free speech advocates, San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway system said it cut off cellphone signals at “select” stations in response to a planned protest this week.
“BART temporarily interrupted service at select BART stations as one of many tactics to ensure the safety of everyone on the platform,” the transit agency said in a statement on its website Friday.
BART said it took the actions because protesters said they “would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police.”
Great Britian - Aug 14, 2011 - link
(CNN) — In an emergency session of Parliament on Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the violence, looting and arson sweeping his country “were organized via social media.” He said his government is now considering how and whether to “stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”
On Friday, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency published a commentary contrasting Cameron’s latest statements with his Arab Spring-inspired speech earlier this year, in which he loftily proclaimed that freedom of expression should be respected in Tahrir Square as much as in London’s Trafalgar Square.
“We may wonder why Western leaders, on the one hand, tend to indiscriminately accuse other nations of monitoring, but on the other take for granted their steps to monitor and control the Internet,” Xinhua said. “For the benefit of the general public, proper Web-monitoring is legitimate and necessary.”
China - Aug 13, 2011 - link
Public distrust of the government mounted after Chinese media reported that the petrochemical plant might have been allowed to operate illegally months before it received mandatory environmental approval. According to Southern Metropolis News, the Fujia plant started full-scale production in June 2009, but it did not get the go-ahead from the Liaoning environmental protection bureau until April last year.
Chinese authorities, which are quick to suppress dissent from spreading, blocked searches on Weibo for “PX,” “Dalian,” and “Dalian protests.” Search results for these terms showed pages that said “according to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results are not displayed.”
Paris France - Aug 11, 2011 - link
PARIS — Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain said Thursday that the government, seeking to prevent a repeat of riots and looting in London and other British cities this week, might bar suspected troublemakers from using social media and other digital communications tools.
Uganda - Aug 11, 2011 - link
Uganda’s Security Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa has accused the opposition of using social media in a “grand plan” to topple the government.
His comments came as opposition parties vowed to relaunch mass protests against the rising cost of living.
Mr Mukasa said social networking sites Facebook and Twitter were being used to prepare youths for insurrection.
During protests in April, the government ordered internet service providers to block their use.
The directive was largely ignored with only two service providers implementing it, the BBC’s Joshua Mmali in the capital, Kampala says.
Syria - Aug 3, 2011 - link
Syrian protestors are scared to use Facebook and Twitter, saying the government tracks their posts, as officials in that region attempt to prevent another Arab Spring uprising.
Anti-government activists accuse authorities of watching Twitter feeds and Facebook in order to learn of planned protests and arrest those who show up. In fact, activists believe the government reopened the previously blocked social media sites earlier this year explicitly to monitor citizens’ behavior.
Malawi - July 22, 2011 - Link
The government of Malawi has shut down news websites and social media networks including Twitter and Facebook and has blocked signals from radio stations in a bid to stop the coordination of demonstrations that have so far left more than 18 people dead.
The Malawian government, through the telecom sector regulator, the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA), this week ordered ISPs (Internet service providers) to shut down and radio stations to desist from live broadcasts of the protests, claiming such coverage may incite violence.