The Internet

The Democrats’ McCarthyite witch hunt

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2017

This week’s congressional hearings on “extremist content” mark a new stage in the campaign by congressional Democrats, working with the intelligence agencies and leading media outlets, to legitimize censorship and criminalize dissent.

US Congressional hearing:

Former FBI agent says tech companies must “silence” sources of “rebellion”

By Andre Damon, 1 November 2017

Advocating stepped-up censorship of the Internet, Clint Watts, a former US Army officer and FBI agent, declared, “Civil wars don’t start with gunshots, they start with words.”

US congressional hearings on “extremist content” prepare assault on free speech

By Andre Damon, 31 October 2017

This week, US tech companies will report to Congress on their moves to limit “extremist content” on the Internet as part of the anti-Russian witch hunt, which is increasingly targeting the First Amendment.

Google escalates blacklisting of left-wing web sites and journalists

By Andre Damon, 20 October 2017

In a sweeping expansion of its moves to censor the Internet, Google has blacklisted leading left-wing websites and journalists from its news aggregation platform.

The conspiracy to censor the Internet

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 18 October 2017

US intelligence agencies, media outlets and Democratic Party operatives are turning the witch-hunt against Russia into the justification for a far-reaching attack on free speech.

The New York Times and the criminalization of dissent

By Joseph Kishore, 11 October 2017

The unsubstantiated charges of Russian interference in the US elections have developed into an increasingly frenzied campaign to ascribe all opposition within the United States to the actions of a “foreign enemy.”

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Germany’s Network Enforcement Act: Legal framework for censorship of the Internet

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2017

The assumption behind the law, which took effect October 1, is that companies will delete controversial posts rather than risk severe financial penalties.

The New York Times reports World Socialist Web Site charge of Google censorship and blacklisting

By Andre Damon, 2 October 2017

The Times’ article is the first detailed report in the US mainstream media of Google’s manipulation of searches to bar access to left-wing sites.

US Justice Department demands Facebook turn over information on anti-administration activists

By Trévon Austin, 30 September 2017

Private account information on thousands of Facebook users could be handed over to the government as a result of the warrants.

US Department of Homeland Security to track all immigrants’ social media accounts

By Jake Dean, 29 September 2017

The DHS’s invasive surveillance and data gathering operation will cover all immigrants, including green card holders and naturalized citizens.

Facebook turns over information on Russia-linked accounts to Special Counsel Mueller

By Patrick Martin, 19 September 2017

The investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US election and Trump campaign collusion is being used to justify a crackdown on the Internet.

Google intensifies censorship of left-wing websites

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2017

New statistics expose the growing impact of Google’s attack on free speech.

Anger mounts over consumer credit data hack

What is Equifax and why does it have personal information on half the American population?

By Kevin Reed, 15 September 2017

Credit ratings agencies serve a critical function for the financial elite, collecting information on every individual to determine a “credit score,” used to extract as much money as possible from the working class.

New York Times stokes anti-Russia campaign to promote Facebook, Twitter censorship

By Bill Van Auken, 12 September 2017

Invoking an alleged Russian menace to American democracy, the New York Times is spearheading a campaign for a crackdown on political expression on social media.

Personal data of 143 million US consumers compromised in massive Equifax server hack

By Kevin Reed, 11 September 2017

The $18 billion corporation had its servers hacked, covered up the breach for two-and-a-half months, and still claims to not know what happened.

Forbes writer says Google censored report on manipulation of search traffic

By Andre Damon, 8 September 2017

Journalist Kashmir Hill faced a backlash from the tech giant after she reported that Google threatened to demote search results for sites that did not link to its ill-fated social media network.

Antimonopoly researchers say Google CEO pressured leading think tank to fire them

By Andre Damon, 2 September 2017

The researchers, who had criticized Google, said in a statement that the tech giant is “trying to censor journalists and researchers who fight dangerous monopolies.”

DreamHost ordered to hand over data on anti-Trump website: The criminalization of political dissent

By Joseph Kishore, 26 August 2017

The court decision that DreamHost must turn over information on the individuals associated with disruptj20.org is a chilling assault on free speech.

German government raids and shuts down left-wing Indymedia site

By Johannes Stern, 26 August 2017

The shutdown of linksunten.indymedia.org is the latest step in a crackdown on left-wing politics in Germany ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Internet censorship goes beyond Google

Facebook, Youtube, other tech giants launch joint, state-backed censorship programs

By Zac Corrigan, 24 August 2017

Google's fake search results are the spearhead of a much wider campaign by an entire fraternity of state-aligned tech giants to censor political speech on the Internet.

More than two thousand sign petition to stop Google censorship

By Zac Corrigan, 22 August 2017

The number of signatures jumped over the weekend, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted a link to the WSWS’s exposure of Google’s actions.

Trump administration demands Internet records on 1.3 million political opponents

By Don Barrett and Niles Niemuth, 17 August 2017

The Justice Department has filed a warrant demanding emails, visitor logs, contact information and photographs relating to the website that coordinated protests at the January 20 presidential inauguration.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 August 2017

In the autumn, Internet company Facebook will open a new censorship centre employing 500 people in Essen, Germany.

The hacking of HBO and the “Russian meddling” campaign

By Barry Grey, 10 August 2017

The massive hack of HBO is but the latest case demonstrating the proliferation of hacker groups all over the world that employ advanced technology to successfully attack giant corporations.

Apple, Amazon help Chinese government censor the Internet

By Josh Varlin, 5 August 2017

The Chinese government has launched a crackdown on virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow Internet users to circumvent state censorship.

Google blocked every one of the WSWS’s 45 top search terms

By Andre Damon, 4 August 2017

Google has blacklisted the World Socialist Web Site from the 45 most popular search terms that previously brought people to it, according to a new review of data.

RT interviews Andre Damon: Google becoming “censorship engine”

1 August 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporter Andre Damon spoke to RT America about Google’s censorship of left-wing, progressive, and anti-war web sites.

Google’s chief search engineer legitimizes new censorship algorithm

By Andre Damon, 31 July 2017

Using the fraudulent pretext of blocking access to “fake news,” Google has implemented a vastly expanded program of Internet censorship.

Does the WSWS write about Leon Trotsky? Not according to Google

By Joseph Kishore, 29 July 2017

Searching Google for “Who is Leon Trotsky” will not lead web users to articles published by the most widely read Trotskyist site on the internet.

Google rigs searches to block access to World Socialist Web Site

By the WSWS Editorial Board, 28 July 2017

Statistical analysis proves that Google is excluding WSWS content from search requests.

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites

By Andre Damon and Niles Niemuth, 27 July 2017

In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.

Petya ransomware attack shuts down computers in 65 countries

By Kevin Reed, 29 June 2017

In the second massive cyberattack in 44 days, both originating from malicious software developed by the NSA, personal computers in at least 65 countries were shut down Tuesday.

The global ransomware attack and the crimes of the US spy agencies

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2017

The cyberweapons created by the NSA are aimed not only against the geopolitical targets of US imperialism, but the populations of the United States and the entire world.

Trump’s FCC chairman issues plan to overturn 2015 “net neutrality” rules

By Kevin Reed, 29 April 2017

Net neutrality is the principle that the transmission of data over the Internet must be treated equally, without regard to content, purpose or originating source.

Germany activates new cyber warfare unit

By Johannes Stern, 8 April 2017

Germany is seeking to take the lead internationally in the field of cyber warfare and thereby position itself “for the warfare of the future.”

US House votes to repeal internet protections

Trump expected to sign anti-privacy measure into law

By Kevin Reed, 1 April 2017

Congress has decided that internet providers own the information that consumers provide when they use the internet to shop, browse or message.

Senate votes to repeal FCC internet privacy regulations

By Bryan Dyne, 27 March 2017

If signed into law, the new legislation would give the American intelligence agencies access to even greater means for spying on the population.

Facebook’s “fake news” measures: A move toward censorship

By George Gallanis, 17 December 2016

Facebook will begin validating articles posted on the social media platform through third party agencies, dominated by the establishment media and institutions affiliated with the state.

Massive cyberattack shuts down large sections of the Internet

By Kevin Reed, 22 October 2016

The assault was very large in scale and sophisticated in coordination.

Samsung abruptly drops Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to dangerous overheating

By Kevin Reed, 14 October 2016

After scores of reports in the US alone, including a forced evacuation of an airliner, the company finally responded.

Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries of The Connected World

Exploring the origins and impact of the Internet

By Kevin Reed, 8 October 2016

The movie examines the origins and implications of the Internet and related technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and space travel.

Yahoo reports 500 million user accounts were hacked in 2014

By Kevin Reed, 24 September 2016

Although Yahoo’s assertion that the breach was the work of a state-sponsored hacker has been repeated widely in news reports, no facts have been presented to substantiate the claim.

Sexual assault accusations used to oust leader at Tor Project

By Adam Mclean, 19 August 2016

The Tor Project, a network and tool for anonymizing one’s internet traffic, has been a repeated target of attacks from US intelligence agencies.

Twenty five years of the World Wide Web

By Bryan Dyne, 8 January 2016

The first successful connection between two computers over the Internet using the World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee twenty five years ago.

Obama declares “national emergency” based on alleged cyber threats from Russia, China

By Thomas Gaist, 3 April 2015

In an online statement, Obama made clear that the new powers granted in his latest executive order will be used to target America’s main geopolitical rivals.

FCC ruling sides with tech companies on “net neutrality”

By Mike Ingram, 6 March 2015

The decision of the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as a “telecommunications service” favors one set of corporate giants over another.

Obama administration pushes cybersecurity law to expand corporate-government collaboration

By Ed Hightower, 15 January 2015

The intelligence sharing legislation would give legal immunity to corporations that grant the US government direct access to their data.

Sony hacking allegations used to push antidemocratic “cybersecurity” laws

By Tom Carter, 10 January 2015

Efforts are underway within the US government to exploit hacking allegations against North Korea in order to ram through legislation that will further expand domestic surveillance.

US escalates campaign against North Korea

By Patrick Martin, 20 December 2014

An FBI declaration and a White House press conference ratcheted up the pressure on the isolated Stalinist dictatorship, which now faces unspecified US retaliation for an alleged hacking attack on Sony Pictures.

US stokes conflict with North Korea over Sony hacking

By Patrick Martin, 19 December 2014

Obama administration officials described the hacking as a “serious national security matter” that warranted a “proportionate response” by the US government.

Cameron announces plans to remove British passports from suspected terrorists

By Julie Hyland, 18 November 2014

The home secretary will have the power to cancel passports and impose a “temporary exclusion” order for two years.

AT&T and Verizon use “supercookies” to track users’ online activities

By Thomas Gaist, 7 November 2014

The leading mobile phone companies use so-called “supercookies” to secretly record day-to-day Internet usage by at least 100 million customers

The Internet’s Own Boy: Documentary about “hacktivist” Aaron Swartz

By Nick Barrickman, 1 July 2014

The film documents the life of Aaron Swartz, the open Internet activist and web technology prodigy who committed suicide after being hounded by the US government.

Decision by US federal agency opens way to two-tier Internet

By Mike Ingram, 19 May 2014

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to accept proposals that will allow broadband companies to charge content providers for access to their networks, in a move that opens the way for a two-tier Internet.

New proposed Internet rules would strengthen corporate control, end “net neutrality”

By Gabriel Black, 25 April 2014

The US Federal Communications Commission has proposed a new set of rules allowing companies to pay money in order for their content to be quickly delivered to users.

NSA exploited Heartbleed bug

By Joseph Santolan, 14 April 2014

Both the White House National Security Council (NSC) and the NSA issued categorical denials that they had any awareness of the existence of the Heartbleed bug prior to its public disclosure on April 7.

Heartbleed security bug compromises vast portion of Internet traffic

By Joseph Santolan, 11 April 2014

Whether Heartbleed originated as a mistake or was deliberately planted by the National Security Agency, it is a near certainty that the NSA has been using it for the past two years.

Netflix to pay Comcast to prioritize content

By Gabriel Black, 28 February 2014

In a deal announced last Sunday, Netflix will pay Comcast to ensure that its content gets sent to customers faster than that from other services.

Reddit forum blacklists WSWS

By the WSWS Editorial Board, 11 February 2014

In a blatant act of political censorship, the moderators of the r/socialism forum on the popular link aggregating site Reddit have decided to “blacklist” the World Socialist Web Site for a period of one month.

Tech company “transparency reports” reveal massive NSA spying

By Thomas Gaist, 5 February 2014

The data, which cover only a small portion of surveillance operations, show the NSA requested content from tens of thousands of accounts during the first half of 2013.

US appeals court strikes down “net neutrality” rules

By Thomas Gaist, 16 January 2014

The Open Internet regulations prohibited the selective blocking of slowing of legal Internet content by Internet providers.

UK government moves to clamp down on Internet, citing child pornography

By Julie Hyland, 25 November 2013

Google is planning to target 100,000 search terms, with restrictions applying first in English-speaking countries and then expanded to all other languages over the next six months.

Facebook releases report on requests from governments for information on users

By Don Knowland, 30 August 2013

Facebook has issued a report showing tens of thousands of requests from governments around the world for information on Facebook users

British government introduces Internet censorship filters

By Mark Blackwood, 7 August 2013

Under the fraudulent pretext of protecting children, the British government is introducing censorship of the Internet.

Partner of deceased Internet activist Aaron Swartz denounces US attorney general

By Kevin Reed, 15 March 2013

The tragic death of Aaron Swartz, a gifted and courageous technology pioneer and critic of the profit system, was a product of the Obama administration’s assault on democratic rights.

US officials announce formation of offensive cyber war units

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2013

US intelligence officials announced Tuesday that Washington is setting up military units to write destructive computer code to attack other countries.

US attorney downplays vendetta against Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz

By Eric London, 21 January 2013

The US attorney whose office led the prosecution against Internet activist Aaron Swartz has issued the government’s first official response to the young man’s suicide.

Father of Aaron Swartz indicts US government for son’s suicide

By our reporters, 16 January 2013

At a funeral attended by friends and family Tuesday, the father of Internet activist Aaron Swartz said that his son was “killed by the government.”

Chinese government imposes new Internet censorship law

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2013

The main purpose is to stifle online political discussion and the use of social media to organise protests.

US walks out of World Conference on Information Technology

Global split over telecom treaty

By Kevin Reed, 28 December 2012

The breakdown of talks at the IT summit signals intensified national conflicts in an increasingly interdependent world.

New Zealand: New evidence about US operation to shut down Megaupload

By John Braddock, 7 July 2012

White House logs demonstrate that meetings took place between Hollywood studio executives and US Vice President Joe Biden six months before the raids on Megaupload.

Facebook IPO falls flat

By Andre Damon, 19 May 2012

Facebook, the social networking platform, made its initial public offering on Friday in the largest technology IPO in US history. High sell volume after the opening prompted the offering's underwriters to buy up stocks to shore up the price.

US government prepares new attacks on Internet privacy

By Marcus Day, 17 May 2012

Over the past month, the US government has ramped up its efforts to create a legal basis for the surveillance of Internet and electronic communication.

Tens of thousands in Germany protest against ACTA’s attack on the Internet

By Johannes Stern, 15 February 2012

Last Saturday, tens of thousands took to the streets in about 60 German cities to protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which threatens the Internet with increased surveillance and democratic rights in general.

Mother of Richard O’Dwyer: “America is trying to control and police the Internet”

By our reporters, 7 February 2012

An interview with Julia O’Dwyer, whose son Richard, a 23-year-old computer science student at Sheffield Hallam University, faces extradition to the US on copyright infringement charges.

New Zealand judge defers bail decision on Megaupload arrests

By John Braddock, 24 January 2012

As part of a global campaign by the US government, the Megaupload associates face extradition proceedings on copyright charges.

US government shuts down file-sharing site MegaUpload

By Patrick Zimmerman, 20 January 2012

Operating at the behest of the major media conglomerates, the US government moved against one of the most popular file-sharing Internet sites, seizing millions of dollars in assets and arresting four people.

SOPA, PIPA and the freedom of the Internet

By Andre Damon, 19 January 2012

Millions of people signed online petitions Wednesday against internet censorship bills being discussed in the US Congress.

Wikipedia shuts down to protest censorship bills

By Andre Damon, 18 January 2012

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, and other sites are shutting down for 24 hours today to protest internet censorship bills currently being considered by the US Congress.

Congress seeks legal framework for Internet censorship

By Mike Ingram, 28 December 2011

Two bills aimed at establishing a legal framework for government and corporate censorship of the Internet are expected to be discussed in January when Congress returns from its winter break.

US government targets open access activist

By Patrick Zimmerman, 5 August 2011

Aaron Swartz, a researcher at Harvard is being pursued by government authorities for alleged wire fraud.

US Internet service providers join big media in copyright crackdown

By James Brewer, 13 July 2011

The formation of a consortium of the big media companies and ISPs working together to enforce a new “copyright alert system” was announced last week.

Microsoft and the future of Skype

By Mike Ingram, 16 May 2011

What has become an essential utility for millions of people is now controlled by one of the world’s largest corporations, and one that has a record of subverting technological advances in the interests of maintaining its own monopoly.

Why the FCC can’t protect net neutrality

By Mike Ingram, 28 December 2010

Federal Communication Commission members voted 3 to 2 to accept so-called net neutrality rules which will do nothing to defend the freedom of the internet.

FCC chairman bows to corporations on “net neutrality”

By Mike Ingram, 6 December 2010

New proposals from US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski do nothing to secure net neutrality and are a capitulation to the demands of big business.

Google-Verizon deal undermines push for an open Internet

By Mike Ingram, 20 August 2010

In its joint proposal with Verizon issued Monday August 9, Google has made a significant change in corporate policy in the direction of forestalling any government requirement to maintain “net neutrality,” the open and equal access to the Internet by all web sites and content providers.

Senate bill would authorize US president to seize control of Internet

By Mike Ingram, 24 June 2010

A bill introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman, would give the president the power to order Internet providers to restrict access to the global network.

Google publishes figures on government requests for data

By Mick Ingram, 26 April 2010

Google has launched a new function that allows users to see how many requests have been made by governments for the data Google routinely collects on users.

Google shuts down search services in China

By John Chan, 3 April 2010

While Google’s tactics were driven by commercial considerations, the issue has become entwined with the Obama administration’s more aggressive stance toward Beijing.

Sri Lankan government prepares new Internet restrictions

By Sarath Kumara, 15 February 2010

As part of an escalating assault on basic democratic rights, Sri Lankan authorities are preparing new measures to censor web sites critical of the government.

US-China tensions continue over Google

By John Chan, 8 February 2010

The Obama administration is using Google’s hacking and censorship allegations as part of a broader push to intensify pressure on Beijing.

The China-Google dispute

US plans to harness Internet to its hegemonic goals

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2010

In a recent speech on Internet freedom, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled a global policy of Internet-driven regime-change, under the guise of freedom of speech.

Australian government pushes ahead with internet censorship

By Richard Phillips, 29 December 2009

The Rudd government’s censorship measures constitute a major attack on democratic rights. They would see Labor introducing the harshest internet censorship regime of any so-called western democracy.

The Google Book Search copyright settlement and the future of information—Part 2

By K. Reed, 13 August 2009

The second of a two-part article on the Google Book Search settlement.

The Google Book Search copyright settlement and the future of information—Part 1

By K. Reed, 12 August 2009

The first of a two-part article on the Google Book Search settlement.

China forced to delay Internet censorship measure

By John Chan, 11 July 2009

The Chinese government abruptly announced late last month that it had postponed its July 1 deadline for all personal computers sold in China to be installed with government-developed Internet filtering software.

German parliament opens way for Internet censorship

By Andreas Kunstmann, 30 June 2009

The German parliament has passed a law using child pornography as a pretext to censure the Internet.

US cybersecurity plan poses new war threats, attacks on democratic rights

By Tom Eley, 30 May 2009

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a “cyber czar” who would oversee the defense of US financial networks. Separately, plans proceeded within the military-intelligence apparatus to develop a Cyber Command that would have offensive-war capabilities.

File-sharing trial against The Pirate Bay has wide-ranging implications

By Mike Ingram, 20 February 2009

What the Times of London described as the “internet piracy trial of the decade” is under way in a courtroom in Stockholm, Sweden, with protesters with megaphones camped outside the building. The trial of file-sharing site thepiratebay.org for copyright infringement is being followed by legal and technology experts all over the world.