Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fiji: shutting down the blogs

Since the December 5 coup, the Fijian blogosphere has exploded, with a network of "Fijian Freedom Bloggers" established to distribute information critical of the military regime. These blogs have broken several important stories deeply embarassing to those in power, and now the regime is trying to close them down. On Friday they detained a businessman on suspicion of being a blogger, and now they are pressuring FINTEL (Fiji's international telecommunications gateway) to block access to sites critical of the regime. So we may see a "little firewall of Fiji" to "protect" Fijians from harmful concepts like democracy, accountability, and human rights.

Of course, such firewalls may be circumvented. There's an escalating series of circumvention and privacy methods in the Reporters Without Borders Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents [PDF]. The easiest method is to use a service like Anonymouse, Proxify or The Cloak to disguise the destination of your traffic. Such sites may also be blocked, but you can DIY by using a proxy server (lists here; IE configuration tutorial here). There are stronger and more secure methods as well for the seriously paranoid, but the basic ones ought to be enough to begin with.


One option would be to mount a large scale DOS attack to try and saturate the (limited) available bandwidth into Fiji, shutting their Internet down.

Continuously reloading Fiji government connected websites might do it.

Posted by Rich : 5/13/2007 09:03:00 PM

I'm not sure that that would help Fijians trying to read about what is going on in their country though; in fact, it seems highly counterproductive.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/13/2007 09:43:00 PM

Perhaps bloggers could follow I/S in drawing attention to this oppression. I doubt if we will hear much about it from the MSM.

Posted by Paul : 5/13/2007 10:59:00 PM

Paul: Some links:

Radio New Zealand

And it will probably be in the Herald tomorrow. I'm very much following on this issue.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/13/2007 11:42:00 PM

Well done for keeping on top of this I/S. I just hope the bloggers do keep being anonymous, otherwise they'll end up at the very least beaten.

Posted by Muerk : 5/14/2007 12:31:00 AM

That depends on whether you regard Internet access or public anger as more important in starting a revolution.

Without Internet the Fijian upper and middle classes are likely to make less money from tourism and trade, which might encourage them to rise up against Bananarama.

Posted by Rich : 5/14/2007 09:27:00 AM