McCarthy's fast start: Big Tech is a top target

House Republicans plan to launch a new investigative panel that will demand copies of White House emails, memos, and other communications with Big Tech companies. The new panel, the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, is partly a response to revelations from Elon Musk in the internal documents he branded the "Twitter Files." The subcommittee will be chaired by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) — a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and a favorite of the hard right. The probe into communications between tech giants and

Iran’s Online Crackdown Prompts Smuggling of Starlink Kits

Iran’s government has throttled down bandwidths, stepped up filtering of social-media sites and taken down virtual private networks, according to analysts and reports by nongovernment organizations. It has also sought to intercept Starlink and other satellite internet devices, which are illegal in Iran. The number of Iranians with access to Starlink is a tiny fraction of the millions who use virtual private networks and other platforms to evade government restrictions, users say.

Rep. Clyde (R-GA) Introduces Legislation to Eliminate Government-by-Proxy Censorship

Rep Andrew Clyde (R-GA) led 10 of his colleagues in introducing the Free Speech Defense Act to eliminate government-by-proxy censorship. The legislation:

China Clamps Down on Internet as It Seeks to Stamp Out Covid Protests

China’s internet watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration, instructed tech companies to expand censorship of protests and moved to curb access to virtual private networks, as a government clampdown succeeds in keeping most protesters off the streets after 

Rep. Lauren Boebert Prevails In Battle Over Twitter Block

US District Court Judge Daniel Domenico in Colorado, a Trump appointee, has thrown out a lawsuit accusing Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) of violating the First Amendment by blocking a constituent on Twitter. judge Domenico essentially ruled that Rep Boebert was free to block people at will from her @laurenboebert account because it is “held out and operated as a personal and campaign account.” The judge said in his ruling that the block wasn't done by the government, because the Twitter account wasn't an official government account.

Senator Murphy (D-CT) Requests Review of Foreign Stake in Acquisition of Twitter, Inc.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) requesting an immediate investigation into the potential national security concerns arising from the recent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk and a number of foreign private investors, including members of the Saudi Arabian royal family and the kingdom of Qatar. Senator Murphy called attention to Saudi Arabia’s repression of free speech and political dissent inside and outside of the Kingdom’s borders, including the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Global internet gaps prompt calls for a US plan

Pressure is growing for the US to develop a plan to quickly build internet lifelines for people living in conflict zones or under repressive regimes. The absence of a broadband strategy has led to a reliance on the ad hoc goodwill of private companies, such as Elon Musk's donation of Starlink satellite to provide internet service in Ukraine. Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said that the US needs both the ability to quickly deploy internet networks and surge the production of censorship-circumvention online tools in authoritarian countries. Rep.

Iranian Protesters Struggle to Activate Starlink and Circumvent Internet Restrictions

After Elon Musk said his Starlink satellite-internet system was activated in Iran on Sept. 23, two men climbed onto the tiled roof of a residence in the Iranian city of Ahvaz and aimed a Starlink terminal into the sky. A faint signal was detected by the device for several seconds, then it disappeared. The men were seeking to help an Iranian protest movement struggling under a government crackdown on online communication, said Saeed Souzangar, a network engineer and one of the Iranian men.

Will Open-Source Intelligence Liberate Palestine From Digital Occupation?

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) has not-so-quietly revolutionized the global flow of information during times of conflict. By piecing together publicly available content, like satellite images, cellphone videos, and social media posts, open-source analysts cut through the fog of war, exposing and publicizing critical intelligence once monopolized by state authorities. For Palestinians, open-source intelligence is a double-edged sword. On one hand, OSINT offers Palestinians low-cost, relatively accessible tools to collect and disseminate valuable information about the conflict in their regi

Elon Musk offers Iranians uncensored internet access

Elon Musk’s Starlink has activated its satellite broadband service in Iran after the US allowed private companies to offer uncensored internet access to the country amid protests that have caused more than 40 deaths. Starlink is the first in a new generation of satellite networks operating in low-Earth orbit that are designed to provide high-bandwidth internet connections from space directly to individual users. Starlink users are able to bypass a country’s terrestrial communications networks, freeing them from internet censorship.