Category Archives: internet

The Best of The Asian Studies WWW Monitor

Este es un enlace interesante, a un boletín (también ahora en formato blogg) de la Universidad Nacional de Australia, que se hace eco de las publicaciones más interesantes relacionadas con los estudios asiáticos.

http://asia-www-monitor.blogspot.com/

La Casa Encendida – Second Life


La Casa Encendida abre una isla en Second Life

Caja Madrid presenta La Isla de La Casa Encendida, el primer gran proyecto español en Second Life. En el centro virtual pueden verse exposiciones, conciertos, cortos, pasear por la playa, enviar mensajes en botellas, leer poesía, plantar un árbol o entrar en un laberinto.

Ver trailer.

If you can read this, you are not in Iran…

Iran’s internet ‘filter’
It is a familiar phrase to millions of web surfers in Iran, the second-largest internet user in the Middle East behind Israel: “You Are Not Authorized To View This Page!” From RFE/RL.

The original piece was published by ISN

It is among the most familiar phrases to the roughly 8 million-11 million web surfers in Iran, the second-largest Internet user in the Middle East behind Israel.

“You Are Not Authorized To View This Page!”

More than 10 million websites are currently being “filtered” in Iran, according to the state Information Technology Company.

The range of blocked websites includes a handful of pornographic, political or human rights-related addresses and even some forum websites.

Underground counter effort
At a time when the country suffers from what human rights defenders describe as a severe “information crackdown,” a group of young Iranians inside the country is determined to battle the dominant policy of online censorship imposed by the Iranian leadership.

The group Iran Proxy is formed by some Iranian youngsters who believe that this “new dictatorial barrier” must be fought from inside of the country – and that they must remain underground to be able to do so.

Iran Proxy describes itself as the first anti-filtering group inside Iran. It says it is focused on introducing and promoting simple – and yet technologically advanced – ways of helping Iranian users skirt web filters.

“Iran Proxy tries to teach to the Iranian users the advanced methods of getting around this new dictatorial barrier, which is the result of false policies of governments and religious extremists, in a simplified and understandable way through publication of a series of articles, one of the underground group’s members tells Radio Farda on condition of anonymity. “We also plan to introduce the new anti-filter software and proxies to users.”

Iran Proxy has so far created tens of proxy websites with search ability and also featuring fixed links to news websites that are currently being blocked by the Iranian government. The proxies, which get updated constantly and can be e-mailed to users, help surfers to enter the restricted pages.

International critics
Reporters Without Borders ranks Iran’s press situation as “very serious,” the worst ranking on the nongovernmental group’s five-point scale. Iran’s Internet censorship policy is described as “pervasive” by the OpenNet Initiative’s global Internet-filtering map, the worst ranking it assigns to countries.

“According to the results of the worldwide research carried out between the years 2004 and 2005 by the OpenNet Initiative, Iran was filtering around 30 percent of the target websites,” Iran Proxy tells Radio Farda. “The results revealed that Iran was practicing one of the strictest methods of Internet filtering.”

The filtering in Iran primarily focuses on Persian-language websites, including numerous weblogs. In recent years and under circumstances in which writers, activists, and others complained of the absence of a free speech platform in the country, the phenomenon of blogging quickly found a place among the growing number of Iranian web surfers.

Rising demand meets with official intolerance

Weblogs rapidly earned a reputation as an electronic replacement that featured two basic and necessary characteristics of the desired political and social platforms for Iranians: capability to interact and security. The popularity of the platform reached a point that – with around 700,000 enthusiast writers – Persian language has become the fourth most-blogged language on the Internet.

But tolerance for the new phenomenon did not last long.

Shahram Rafizadeh, Sina Motallebi, Arash Sigarchi, Mojtaba Sami Nejad, Ruzbeh Mir Ebrahimi and Omid Memarian were among the journalists and bloggers who were arrested and prosecuted for their online writings. Along with the suppression, limitations were imposed on accessing websites, most of which included Persian news and analytical websites and weblogs.

“The statistics provided by OpenNet’s research back in 2004 and 2005 showed that around 5 percent of English news websites were blocked at the time,” an Iran Proxy member says. “As for the Persian websites, the blocked-pages figure totals something above 50 percent. Access to 100 percent of the pornographic websites and 95 percent of the proxy websites are restricted, too. This, of course, [was the case] three years ago.”

Two-way superhighway

Many Iranian officials have strongly defended the concept of “having control over the internet” by highlighting what they described as the “necessity of preventing the access to pornographic sources.” That point, which might win the support of concerned parents, later got overshadowed by features of the later versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that provide its users with a chance to arrange their own restrictions and basically rule out the need for any external monitoring.

However, the new facilities to block pornography do not appear to have had much impact on Tehran’s determination to keep – and even broaden – its surveillance over the use of the World Wide Web.

“In recent months, the Iranian state-run telecommunications center has begun the launch of an entirely new filtering system that includes a software robot able to observe viewed web pages and block them after drawing a comparison with the defined algorithms,” Iran Proxy tells Radio Farda. “The new supervision system has got additional features that add to the country’s filtering ability,” the source adds. “The ability to block pages that link to filtered websites is one of the features of the new method that is currently being applied. Given these facts, if OpenNet repeats the research now, it will encounter blocking results so much higher that they might even be unimaginable.”

In one of its latest unexpected policy actions, Iran’s Internet service providers (ISPs) have been banned since late 2006 from providing Internet connections faster than 128 kilobytes per second (kbps) to homes and cafes. It is a move that critics regard as part of a media clampdown.

Experts believe that the decision is much broader in scope than the previous policy of suppression. It can also be considered among the first times that the Iranian government has openly denied its people access to “technology” in favor of censorship.

Human rights groups accuse Iran of launching an accelerating crackdown on information sources, including the Internet, in an effort to silence critics. They charge that the process has intensified since Mahoud Ahmadinejad became Iran’s president two years ago.

Tehran denies the charges.

Google and knowledge

“When it was proclaimed that the Library contained all books, the first impression was one of extravagant happiness. All men felt themselves to be the masters of an intact and secret treasure… As was natural, this inordinate hope was followed by an excessive depression. The certitude that some shelf in some hexagon held precious books and that these precious books were inaccessible, seemed almost intolerable.” (Borges, La Biblioteca de Babel)

This short article (in a post format): Das Google Problem: is the invisible mouse benevolent? by Tony Cruzon in Open Democracy summeraises and gives us some very good reviews and thoughts about internet, google and the process of knowledge:

As David Levi Strauss has it, web surfing is eliminating the trace, the permanent, and turning culture into mere momentary flow.(…) The internet has changed the economics of knowledge-production, and it will therefore transform what we know.

But Cruzon’s article is not another nostalgic and pessimistic one… he is optimistic about the future. He thinks that the “invisible mouse” is like the market economy “invisible hand” and that communities (of experts) could be the answer to knowledge on internet.


RSS i Revistes digitals

Per estar al dia de les noves publicacions de les revistes més importants del nostre mundillu asiàtic, politològic i de relacions internacionals res millor que fer servir els Rss feeds que podeu agregar per exemple a la vostre pàgina d’inici personalitzada de google (www.google.com/ig).

El meu google desktop en la pestanya reservada a índexs de journals online. Ja n’he agregat més de 30. Tinc també pestanyes especials per fer el seguiment sobre notícies d’Àsia en general o d’Asia Central en particular.

Fins ara havies de buscar els Rss feeds de cada revista i agregar-los, o utilitzar buscadors generals d’rss feeds. Però acabo de trobar que la Universitat de Nevada ha reuint tots els rss feeds de les revistes digitals en un mega llistat que poder consultar aquí.

Mil gràcies a la Nevada University.