Australian Internet users are wary of the government’s newly exposed ability to block multiple websites without notice, revealed when the Australian Securities and Investment Commission accidentally filtered over 1200 sites in an attempt to shut down a single website for fraud. Among the accidentally blocked sites was that of community-based activist group Melbourne Free University, which documented its experience trying to obtain information about the shutdown in a blog post .
In advance of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for June 14, 2013, Internet users are experiencing slower speeds and trouble using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to access blocked sites. The Wall Street Journal reports that most Internet cafés in the country have had to close due to service disruptions, and that a newly created “special election cyberunit” has been established to monitor social media surrounding the presidential race. SMS service has also been affected. Thus far, Iranian authorities are denying any involvement in the disruptions.
Syria’s Internet has experienced multiple blackouts this month as the country’s internal conflict continues. On May 7, 2013, Renesys reported a complete Internet outage lasting over 19 hours; Google also noted a disruption to all of the company’s products in the country. A second outage, lasting approximately eight hours, took place on May 15. Cloudflare has a video explaining how the shutdowns took place.
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