censorship


Threatpost News Wrap, January 20, 2017

Mike Mimoso, Tom Spring, and Chris Brook discuss security-wise what they hope will and won’t change under a Trump presidency, then discuss the news of the week, including SHA-1 deprecation, Carbanak’s return, and the WhatsApp “backdoor” debacle.


After banning the word “jailbreak” from its app store and music library, Apple today reversed course and again permits the term – slang for hacking into a device to download unauthorized content — to appear on iTunes and its App Store.

On Thursday bloggers noticed Apple had censored the word, using the Thin Lizzy album “Jailbreak” as an example. For awhile, the title was listed as “J******k” in Apple’s music library, at least its U.S. version. In other instances, digital content continued to bear the full name Jailbreak.

A study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has concluded that Chinese social media sites are deleting messages with content that might be construed as controversial by the Communist Party – the first conclusive evidence that state censorship extends to social media sites like Sina Weibo, the popular micro blogging Web site that many have likened to a Chinese Twitter.

When most people think of the Great Firewall of China, they think of government censors black holing the comments of political dissidents or conversations related to the long list of topics the governing Communist Party finds disruptive to political harmony. But in testimony before Congress, the head of a U.S.-based technology industry group said that the censorship is also taking an economic toll on Western Internet firms, as China steers Chinese consumers away from Western Web based services including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Foursquare and toward domestic competitors.

As state-level censorship continues to grow in various countries around the globe in response to political dissent and social change, researchers have begun looking for news ways to help Web users get around these restrictions. Now, a group of university researchers has developed an experimental system called Telex that replaces the typical proxy architecture with a scheme that hides the fact that the users is even trying to communicate at all.

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