A Series of (Leader-Approved) Tubes

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Wired's Mark Anderson hunkered down with internet sleuths and came out with this amusing snapshot of internet censorship in the third world. Surprise! It's incredibly shoddy.

Sometimes a censoring government tries to conceal its filtering behind spoofed web-browser error messages. [OpenNet Initiative] discovered that Tunisia, for instance, masks filtered pages by serving a mockup of Internet Explorer's 404 error page. These supposed error pages stood out, because ONI doesn't use IE.

"Rather than getting a page that says 'This page has been blocked,' you get a page saying 'Page not found,' designed to look exactly like the Internet Explorer 404 page," said Cairo-based ONI consultant Elijah Zarwan.

NEXT: Behold, I Am a Dry Tree

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  1. What the hell is ONI? Some of us are too lazy- or just don’t care enough- to click on the link. Thanks in advance for clearing that up.

  2. ONI is the One Nostril Initiative, which is fighting to end the domination by the more conventional dual-nostrilled totalitarian governments.

  3. What the hell is ONI?

    At first, when Weigel referred to ONI I thought it was the Office of Naval Intelligence (google ONI that is the first link).

    From the ONI website – The OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of four leading academic institutions…Our aim is to excavate, expose and analyze filtering and surveillance practices in a credible and non-partisan fashion. We intend to uncover the potential pitfalls and unintended consequences of these practices, and thus help to inform better public policy and advocacy work in this area.

  4. I wonder if the report includes penalties. There’s a difference in whether the 404 applies to the site or the webmaster.

  5. What the hell is ONI?

    I believe it is a form of Japanese Demon

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