Feeds

Syria orders cybercafe owners to ID customers

'Iron censorship' extended

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Syria has ordered cybercafe owners to take down details of customers in an extension of its "iron censorship" of the web, according to monitoring group the Syrian Media Centre.

Proprietors are now obliged to record clients' names, ID card numbers and the time they spend online, and present the resulting data "regularly to the authorities".

The Centre's head, Mazen Darwich, told Reuters: "These steps are designed to terrorize internet users and spread fear and self censorship in violation of the right to privacy and free expression. The government has been methodical in extending the scope of its iron censorship."

The Syrian authorities have of late been flexing their muscles in cyberspace. Facebook, YouTube, Syrian opposition websites and Lebanese newspapers and Lebanese groups "opposed to what they call Syrian interference in Lebanon" are strictly off-limits to Syrian surfers.

The Syrian Media Centre claims "at least" 153 websites are blocked in Syria, "with bans expanding over the past few weeks to Googleblog and the Arab Maktoobblog". Darwich noted: "Open forums have been used by thousands of Syrians to launch a counter-offensive against the government's curbs on public expression."

The powers that be have responded by targetting outspoken individuals. Syrian human rights organizations say a poet is "facing trial... for publishing articles on a civic society forum", while "another writer spent a week in prison for an internet piece about fuel and electricity shortages".

A teacher from rural Reka province, meanwhile, is also due up before the beak for "criticising online what he described as patronage and nepotism in the state-run education system".

The government did not comment on the latest measure, but officials defended internet controls against "attempts to spread sectarian divisions" and "penetration by Israel". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?