The Internet

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.

Behind Apple’s decision to drop anti-copying measures in iTunes

By Mike Ingram, 19 January 2009

Apple’s decision to drop the anti-copying protection known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) has received a mixed response from consumers and music fans across the world.

Australia: Growing opposition to Labor’s Internet censorship

By our reporters, 27 December 2008

More than 2,000 opponents of the federal Labor government’s plans to censor the Internet rallied in cities across Australia on December 13—the second national protest in the past two months.

Pakistani regime ban of YouTube highlights threat to free Internet

By John Grais, 5 March 2008

On February 22, the Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA) ordered the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to YouTube, the world’s most popular video web site. Access was completely restored in Pakistan only after four days, amid popular opposition and allegations of electoral fraud.

Australian Labor government threatens to censor Internet

By Richard Phillips, 14 January 2008

Under the guise of “protecting children” from pornography and X-rated violence, the Australian Labor government has announced that it will attempt to censor local internet access. Labor’s plans, which were mooted by Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy on December 31, constitute a direct attack on freedom of expression.

European antitrust case finds against Microsoft

By Mike Ingram, 31 March 2004

The European Commission issued a statement March 24 announcing that it had found that Microsoft broke the European Union competition law. After a five-year investigation the EC concluded that Microsoft has carried out illegal practices “by leveraging its near monopoly in the market for PC operating systems (OS) onto the markets for work group server operating systems and for media players.”

Microsoft threat to discontinue Windows 98 and NT operating systems

By Kerem Kaya and Mike Ingram, 19 February 2004

The decision by Microsoft to stop supporting its previous generation of Windows Operating Systems (OSs), Windows 98 and NT, has resulted in a market reaction leading to the long-term postponement of the decision.

European battle over software patents

By Kerem Kaya and Mike Ingram, 23 December 2003

The long-running battle over patents for computer software has reached a new stage in Europe. An amendment [1] submitted on a Directive proposal [2], already approved by the European Parliament (EP) about three months ago, includes significant limits on software patentability. It makes software explicitly unpatentable and regulates safeguards such as freedom of publication and interoperation. The EP’s Directives can become law only with the approval of the European Union (EU) Council. The approved Directive is then relayed to the Member States for local approval.

US court case: Renewed attack on open source software

By John Neilson, 12 December 2003

On March 6 this year, the US software company SCO Group filed a $1 billion civil lawsuit against IBM, claiming the latter had stolen proprietary code from the Unix operating system for use in the current version of Linux, the free open source operating system.

Heavy-handed tactics against music fans: the recording industry’s new assault

By James Brewer, 23 September 2003

On September 8, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed the first 261 of possibly thousands of lawsuits against private individuals accused of music piracy. This is the beginning of a legal campaign aimed at the intimidation of music fans themselves. The criterion set by the RIAA for targeting particular persons is suspicion of downloading over 1,000 songs each across the Internet. The organization claims more than a 30 percent drop in revenues from CD sales over the last three years and blames this on the practice of downloading music.

Spanish cut-price music web site forced to close

By Paul Mitchell, 26 July 2003

Spanish web site Puretones has closed as a result of the giant music companies’ campaign against anyone who threatens their near monopoly.

Music industry turns against file sharing customers

By Mike Ingram, 10 May 2003

The recording giants have turned their fire on music consumers after failing to halt online music swapping, despite shutting the file-sharing pioneer Napster.

War coverage takes over as top Internet search

By Mike Ingram, 28 March 2003

“War” has taken over “sex”, “Britney Spears” and “travel” as the top Internet search term since the US and British forces commenced their bombardment of Iraq.

Serious security flaws in Microsoft web browser

How safe is your computer?

By Mike Ingram, 12 January 2002

If you are using an operating systems from Microsoft, the answer to the question, “how safe is your computer?” would have to be “not very!”

Settlement reached in Microsoft antitrust case

By Mike Ingram, 6 November 2001

Reports emerged November 2 that the US software giant, Microsoft, has reached a settlement with the US Justice Department in the four-year antitrust case. The settlement has gone ahead without the agreement of the 18 states and the District of Columbia, which had launched the case alongside the Justice Department, with Judge Kollar-Kotelly giving them until Tuesday to decide if they will back this conclusion to the case.

PGP creator defends right to encrypt emails

By Mike Ingram, 1 October 2001

Philip Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption software, has issued a statement aimed at clarifying his attitude towards encryption in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Internet privacy threatened following terrorist attacks on US

By Mike Ingram, 24 September 2001

Governments around the world are using the terror attacks on the US to remove all privacy protection from Internet users.

US Justice Department drops demand for Microsoft break-up

By Mike Ingram, 10 September 2001

The decision by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to drop its demand for the break-up of Microsoft is a dramatic reversal of policy by the Bush administration. In a statement issued Thursday September 6, the DoJ’s Antitrust Division said it had advised the software giant that it will not seek a break-up of the company in remand proceedings before the US District Court. It also said that it does not intend to pursue further proceedings on the tying of the Internet Explorer web browser to the Windows operating system, a central component of the original case brought four years ago against the company.

European Union extends investigation of Microsoft

By Mike Ingram, 4 September 2001

As the software giant Microsoft seeks to bring an end to its four-year battle with the US Justice Department, the company has come under increasing scrutiny in Europe.

The Microsoft lawsuit: Appeals court ruling favours company

By Mike Ingram, 6 July 2001

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has overturned the ruling of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft should be broken-up. The judges severely criticised Judge Jackson’s conduct and removed him from future hearings in the case.

Microsoft launches attack on open source software

By Mike Ingram, 8 May 2001

Microsoft Senior Vice President Craig Mundie made a speech on May 3 championing what he called “the commercial software model.” His remarks were particularly directed against the increasingly popular method of providing free access to a programme's source code in a form that clearly reveals how the software works, and so can be altered.

Recording industry giants vie for Napster user base

By Mike Ingram, 3 May 2001

As the online music swap service Napster attempts to comply with the terms of an injunction brought by the recording industry, a number of strategic alliances are underway aimed at harnessing the mass user base that it has attracted.

Yahoo's capitulation to right-wing pressure groups sets dangerous precedent

By Mike Ingram, 19 April 2001

Following a barrage of e-mail protests from the Christian fundamentalist American Families Association (AFA), the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and portal Yahoo has pledged to remove all pornography from its shopping and auction channels and reject requests for related advertising. Yahoo has further agreed to censor home pages created by members of its Geocities service. Yahoo said it would restrict “inappropriate material” and make it more difficult to use the popular search engine to find listings of pornographic Web sites.

Napster seeks to block access to copyrighted music

By Mike Ingram, 5 March 2001

Confusion reigned over the weekend following a hearing Friday March 2 to determine how to formulate a new injunction against the online music swap company Napster.

AOL-Time Warner threatens children running Harry Potter fan sites

By Mike Ingram, 28 February 2001

A 15-year-old girl from West Yorkshire, England has found herself at the centre of a raging battle being waged by media conglomerate AOL-Time Warner against young fans of the “Harry Potter” books.

Napster offers record companies a new commercial arrangement

By Mike Ingram, 24 February 2001

The Internet music swap service Napster and its 50 million-plus users face a new court injunction that may effectively close down the service as it presently exists. Whatever the eventual fate of Napster, however, the naked economic interests that lie behind the invocations of artistic copyright and intellectual property on the part of the music industry giants are increasingly clear.

US Court rejects Napster appeal

By Mike Ingram, 15 February 2001

After three months of deliberation, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the major record labels that the online music swap service Napster must prevent its users from exchanging copyrighted material.

Ten years of the World Wide Web

By Mike Ingram, 18 January 2001

As the new millennium gets underway, there are many anniversaries that could and probably should be marked. The 20th century was packed with tumultuous events that changed the world, including two World Wars and the Russian revolution. Alongside such great happenings, the commemoration of the invention of a system to aid the reading of electronic documents may seem a little out of place. But the creation in 1991 of what became known as the World Wide Web was a technical innovation that has profound social, economic and political implications.

Yahoo bans sale of Nazi memorabilia from its Internet auctions

By Mike Ingram, 5 January 2001

The Internet portal Yahoo has decided to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia from its on-line auctions. The company has denied that the move was in response to a court ruling in France that it must prevent Internet users in that country from accessing Yahoo websites that sell such material.

Microsoft appeal against break-up, claiming judge was biased

By Mike Ingram, 2 December 2000

US software giant Microsoft filed a 150-page brief with a court of appeals this week, in an attempt to halt a planned break-up of the company.

Recording giants could join Bertelsmann's embrace of Napster

By Mike Ingram, 30 November 2000

After an initial period of shock at Bertelsmann's decision to break ranks with the rest of the recording industry and enter into an alliance with Napster, there are indications that the major players are ready to do business.

French court rules that Yahoo must block access to auction site

By Mike Ingram, 24 November 2000

A landmark ruling on Monday November 20 could have serious consequences for Internet freedom and privacy internationally.

China imposes censorship of news reports and Internet chat rooms

By Mike Ingram, 10 November 2000

On November 7, the Chinese government announced new restrictions on Web sites offering news reports and requiring chat rooms to use only officially approved topics.

Online music-swap firm Napster forms strategic alliance with media giant Bertlesmann

By Mike Ingram, 4 November 2000

An October 31 announcement showed light at the end of the tunnel for beleaguered Internet company Napster. As legal action against the online music-swap firm continues, Napster announced a strategic alliance with media giant Bertelsmann.

The Internet: US Congress to consider Web filtering in schools and libraries

By Mike Ingram, 23 October 2000

Support is said to be growing within the US Congress for a bill requiring schools and libraries with Internet access to install software to lock out sites deemed to contain pornographic, obscene or other material considered harmful to minors. If passed the bill would require schools and libraries that receive funding under the E-rate program, which provides subsidies for Internet connection, to install filtering software or lose financial support.

The Internet: US court challenges online anonymity

By Mike Ingram, 18 October 2000

A Florida appeals court ruled Monday that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must divulge the identities of people posting messages on their servers that are deemed to be defamatory.