Australia switches off jihadwatch.org
Today I had a couple of reports that this site was not accessible in Australia. They started in early morning, so I suspect that something happened overnight. We know that the majority of internet service providers in both Australia and New Zealand had started a month ago, described here at privateinternetaccess.com as “ISPs in AU and NZ start censoring the internet without legal precedent”.
Initially it was only sites that had hosted the shootings in Christchurch, and was reported to be only temporary.
In New Zealand, mobile internet service providers take it upon themselves to enact censorship
Starting over the weekend, Spark NZ, Vodafone NZ, and Vocus NZ were the three New Zealand ISPs that have taken it upon themselves to block these sites. On their part, the ISPs and smartphone network providers are claiming that these are only temporary blocks. Temporary blocks that have lasted multiple days – more than long enough to change people’s’ browsing habits. Even the perpetrators of this censorship are aware how unprecedented it is. Geoff Thorn, a chief executive at New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF), commented to CIO:
This site and none of it’s authors have ever advocated violence as a solution, and commenters that do are actively removed, and it was never even suggested that the site host or link to the footage of the shooting.
They lied, they expanded the censorship and it’s no longer looking temporary. Only a couple of days ago the Daily Mail quantified the damage that Google is doing with their biased algorithm here. It’s a death by a thousand cuts, and they get deeper with every slash.
So that’s where we are today, Jihad Watch has again become a victim of fascist censorship, a whole continent blocked from hearing any opposing views of Islam or discussion of jihad. The narrative will be in the hands of big tech and those in power.
The blocking method they have used is very low tech, and thankfully for now easily bypassed. Ten years ago I was sharing this link with dissidents in Iran and family in Turkey. use.opendns.com or if that’s blocked just these numbers in a browser 184.108.40.206 provides instructions on how to bypass this method of censorship. Keep them handy, the free internet is getting much smaller at a faster pace, so you never know when you might need them. This is often the first method that fascist regimes use to censor the internet. Once they get comfortable with it, such as China, North Korea and Iran, they have more aggressive censorship methods, but that takes time to deploy.
Jihad Watch actually always has, or I should say had, quite a large viewership in Australia. They were very active here as commenters. I get to see the new guys’ comments get caught in our moderation system when I check them each morning (there’s a 12 hour time difference).
Hopefully those that have access can spread the word on how to bypass those blocks, a VPN will also work, and has the benefit of always bypassing censorship and ensuring privacy, VladTepes discusses that here as he had similar reports from his visitors.
2 years ago we found that many ISPs in the UK and a few in the rest of Europe were doing the same. I offered this advice then.
I am very disappointed with EFF, an organisation describing themselves as “The leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.”, although acknowledge and are aware of the scale of this misuse of power, only describing the following as “The Ugly”…
The Call asks companies to take “transparent, specific measures” to prevent the upload of terrorist and violent extremist content and prevent its dissemination “in a manner consistent with human rights and fundamental freedoms.” But as numerous civil society organizations pointed out in the May 14 meeting, upload filters are inherently inconsistent with fundamental freedoms. Moreover, driving content underground may do little to prevent attacks and can even impede efforts to do so by making the perpetrators more difficult to identify.
We also have grave concerns about how “terrorism” and “violent extremism” are defined, by whom. Companies regularly use blunt measures to determine what constitutes terrorism, while a variety of governments—including Call signatories Jordan and Spain—have used anti-terror measures to silence speech.
It must be obvious that sites such as Jihadwatch.org are not even close to “terrorist and violent extremist content”. It’s just news and discussion, mostly sourced from mainstream media or regional news. What are EFF scared of ? they won’t cite an example, and there are many. Is free speech only protected for those they agree with now?