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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

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Latest update : 2012-11-28

Anonymous outgunned in its cyber war against Israel

Hacker group Anonymous is outgunned in its cyber war against Israel. Protests take place against an open pit coal mining project in Phulbari in Bangladesh. And Google is campaigning for a free and open Internet.

Anonymous outgunned in its cyber war against Israel

Members of hacker group Anonymous had declared cyber war on Israel in protest of the military attacks on Gaza. Tel Aviv claimed to have recorded 44 million cyber-attack attempts in just four days: an operation of epic proportions but with a limited impact.

Most of the government websites that were attacked, either by being defaced with a pro-Palestinian message, or being knocked offline, were quickly restored to working order. The hacker group also posted personal data of thousands of Israelis online, but it did not belong to officials, most of the information was about ordinary members of the public.

So damage was minimal, both for the army and the Israeli government. Technology blog Gizmodo says the setback is largely due to the fact that over the past few months, the most effective and talented members of Anonymous have been arrested.

A blogger from the site Zdnet writes that Israel was able to resist these attacks primarily because Tel-Aviv was well prepared and had drafted in help from experts and specialist companies.

But according to Nicole Perlroth from the New York Times, the hackers from Anonymous are the least of Israel’s cyber problems. On this blog the journalist writes that viruses and spyware, in all probability from Iran and Gaza, have recently infected carefully chosen company websites in Israel. Malware she thinks poses a much greater threat to infrastructure across the country.

Bangladesh: protests against open pit coal mining project

Residents from the town of Phulbari, 350 kilometers north-west of the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, have been protesting an open pit coal mining project in the region, and the opposition movement is showing no signs of waning, far from it. The project has been in the pipeline since 2006, and was momentarily suspended by the authorities for political reasons, but it has been back on the agenda since last year, to the great dismay of opponents’, intent on convincing the government to change its mind.

As we can see in these amateur online documents, thousands of people took to the streets of Phulbari to voice their anger and disapproval of the project. A general strike was declared in the town, with many taking part.

The main concern for locals is the detrimental effect an open pit coal mine will have on the environment and also the fact locals will be forced to abandon their homes and relocate should the project come to pass. In this report published online, the United Nations says the fears are justified, and that 50 000 to 130 000 people will be driven out and 12 000 hectares of productive agricultural land will be destroyed to make way for the mine.

The site "Accountability Project" has drawn up a list of the different demonstrations staged against the project over the past few years, saying the creation of the mine will generate a great deal of pollution, warning of toxic contamination of water and soil. The organization even goes as far as to say that if the controversial mine project go ahead then access to safe drinking water for around 220 000 people is at stake, and could lead to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region.

Now trending on social networks

Twitter users have joined the campaign for Palestine to become the 194th member country of the United Nations with an initial submission requesting status of non-member observer state. One of the driving forces behind the online initiative is French socialist MP Pouria Amirshashi. The application will be officially submitted to the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday by the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. 

Google launches online campaign for free and open Internet

Google is currently campaigning for a free and open Internet. And in the run up to the World Conference on International Telecommunications to be held in Dubai from the 3rd to 14th of December, the American giant has posted a petition online urging governments from all over the world not to impose restrictions on web access. Google is asking web users to add their voice to the campaign so they can continue browsing the internet without being confronted by government imposed censorship. 

Video of the day

Toy figures indulging in a spot of motocross over all sorts of ground, performing spectacular jumps and moves… this stop motion video, entitled “Dirty Toys” is the work of Karim Rejeb, and will no doubt be a great hit with children and motor sports enthusiasts.

By Electron Libre

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