By Mike Daniels
By Sept. 30 of this year, the Obama administration plans to transition its stewardship over core internet functions to the international community. The transition plan presented to the U.S. Department of Commerce was finalized by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which sets broad policy for the internet's naming system, and coordinates many of its most essential functions. The Department of Commerce has said that it expects to finish its review of the plan by mid-June, giving Congress plenty of time to review it before the September deadline.
Brazilian internet freedom activists are nervous. On Wednesday, a committee in the lower house of Congress, the Câmera dos Deputados, will vote on seven proposals ostensibly created to combat cybercrime. Critics argue the combined effect will be to substantially restrict open internet in the country by peeling back the right to anonymity, and providing law enforcement with draconian powers to censor online discourse and examine citizens’ personal data without judicial oversight.
Norwegian online browser and advertising firm Opera Software , the takeover target of a Chinese consortium of Internet firms, has embedded a tool in its latest desktop app that can be used to circumvent censorship.
Opera said on its blog on Thursday that the newest version of its desktop Internet browser, which is targeted at developers, includes a free built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN), which can be used for getting round online censorship.
People who live in countries with a strict nationwide internet filter always come up with ways to get around it. In Iran, according to Wired, people are using satellite TV and a free anti-censorship system called Toosheh. While Iranians do use VPN to bypass the filter, their crippling internet speeds make it hard to stream videos or download bigger files. The system gives them a way to get 1GB of data within 60 minutes. Users simply have to plug a USB stick into the set-top box, access Toosheh's channel that doesn't show anything besides text instructions and set the receiver to record.