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Archives Mensuelles: mars 2013

Blogging the 2013 Global Forum on Development at OECD

OECD Development 2013
Save the date ūüôā I’ll be covering the OECD’s 2013 Global Forum on Development (April 4-5) along with fabulous Lova Rakotomalala and Julie Owono. We have been invited to do so on as Global Voices authors interested in spreading the word about challenges developing countries face:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organisation of 34 countries that supports democracy and world trade. The Global Forum on Development is focussed on poverty reduction and social cohesion and attracts a wide range of participants from governments and civil society to help discuss solutions.

As for now, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #oecdgfd (OECD Global Forum on Development). I also recommend you to read these thought-provoking and insightful pieces and get involved in the conversation!

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Publié par le 27 mars 2013 dans Health, Politique

 

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The Democratic Bahraini Regime Kills Irony Once More

Today March 12 is the World Day Against Cyber-Censorship. Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Fronti√®res, RSF) back in 2011, the Day aims « to rally everyone in support of a single Internet without restrictions and accessible to all. » RSF released a special report highlighting the « Enemies of the Internet. » The report, which presents the 2012 list of countries, has identified five State Enemies of the Internet: these are all ‘spy’ states as they conduct systematic online surveillance which results in human rights violations. They are Syria, China, Iran, Bahrain and Vietnam.

The report also emphasize the importance of advanced technology which enables authoritarian regimes to
spy on their citizens. RSF has thus compiled a list of five « Corporate Enemies of the Internet, » that is 5 privately held companies which it names ‘digital era mercenaries’ because they sell software used by authoritarian governments to commit violations of human rights and freedom of information. With no surprises, these are Gamma Group, Trovicor, Hacking Team, Amesys/Bull and Blue Coat.

I guess the Bahraini repressive regime is greedy for becoming even more famous: in celebration of its excellent rank in the top 5 of the ‘Enemies of the Internet,’ it has arrested 6 tweeps. The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights lists the names and a few details on each case. The Bahraini Ministry of Interior cheekily explained:

The General Director of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security announced on Tuesday that a group of individuals were monitored for using social media for defamation of the King. Investigation identified six of them, in which they were referred to the public prosecution.

He said that freedom of expression in protected within the constitution and law, while urging for the best use of social media to avoid breaking the law.

I guess no comment is needed at this point…

 
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Publié par le 12 mars 2013 dans Digital freedom, Politique

 

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#aMomentaryLapseOfReason + #GeekyTreasures on Twitter

After some thinking and web crawling, I decided to launch these two hashtags on Twitter: #aMomentaryLapseOfReason and #GeekyTreasures.

Why? Well, because I do curate stuff anyway. The thing is that I tweet about so many different things that all the geeky, funny, weird, creative things can easily go unnoticed. Hence these two hashtags.

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Publié par le 11 mars 2013 dans Science

 

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Closed-source software recommended to Syrian activists as 100% secure…

It is about Wickr, an app only available for iOS thus far. I remember this app made me smile when it was announced back in June 2012: it sends messages and photos that will be erased. The funny thing is that the user chooses for how long the messages/photos will last.

Nico Sell, co-founder of Wickr and one of the organisers of the DefCon, says Wickr will bring « NSA top-secret level encryption to the masses. » It seems absolutely awesome.

As operating on entirely proprietary and locked OS was not enough, Wickr also uses proprietary cryptography algorithms and its source code is closed. I’m confused about the « geek utopia » Sell depicts as follows:

Wickr has a patent pending on technology which Sell said could give people ways to safeguard anything they send or put online, even digital bytes in Internet telephone calls or posts to leading social network Facebook.

Loads of discussions (Mashable, for the non-crypto specialists and Liberationtech for the geekier) have been taking place around how much one could trust this tool. As quite a few security concerns have been addressed (see the Liberationtech messages above), I was particularly alarmed by the following in the Mashable article:

So could Wickr be used by an activist in Syria who is worried about enemy spies and Assad’s regime? Sell has no doubts ‚ÄĒ she answers that question with an unflickering « yes. »

You mean, people at risk of dying for communicating through technology could use a tool that only a small crowd knows the secrets of?
The blackbox software is good for you

 
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Publié par le 5 mars 2013 dans Digital freedom, Free software

 

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