Egyptian Activist Blogs from Jail

May 29, 2006 @ 7:20 pm

Even from his cell in an Egyptian prison, Alaa Abdel-Fattah is blogging — scribbling messages on slips of paper that make their way to the internet and spread around the world.

The 24-year-old Abdel-Fattah’s blog, which he posts with his wife Manal Hassan, has become one of the most popular pro-democracy voices in Egypt. He has continued writing despite being arrested in early May during a street demonstration in Cairo — part of a crackdown on reform activists by Egyptian security forces.

The blog is also part of a love story.

The sweethearts met through politics — in a socialist youth group when he was 13 and she was 12. Since late 2004, Hassan and Abdel-Fattah — who stands out with his 1960s counterculture-style long, curly hair and scraggly beard — have been a constant presence together in the wave of pro-reform street protests.

“We’ve never been separated for more than a week, so I’m not used to this,” Hassan told The Associated Press. “It’s the first time he’s been away from his two loves — me and his computer.”

WIRED News

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Voice Encryption May Draw U.S. Scrutiny

May 26, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

Zimmerman PGP

Zfone’s introduction comes as reports continue to emerge about the government’s electronic surveillance efforts. A lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group, contends that AT&T has given the National Security Agency real-time access to Internet communications.

In the wake of 9/11, there were calls for the government to institute new barriers to cryptography, to avoid its use in communications by enemies of the United States. Easily accessible cryptography for Internet calling may intensify that debate.

New York Times

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Web Inventor Warns of ‘Dark’ Net

@ 9:04 am

The web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it into different services, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said.

Recent attempts in the US to try to charge for different levels of online access web were not “part of the internet model,” he said in Edinburgh.

He warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter “a dark period”.

Sir Tim was speaking at the start of a conference on the future of the web.

“What’s very important from my point of view is that there is one web,” he said.

“Anyone that tries to chop it into two will find that their piece looks very boring.”

BBC News

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