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[liberationtech] Azerbaijan wants to register mobile phones

Robert Guerra rguerra at privaterra.org
Mon Jan 9 08:47:41 PST 2012


Let's have a conversation about Azerbaijan...

A reminder to all who don't already know.. The 2012 meeting of the
United Nation's Internet Governance Forum is tentatively set for Baku
in sept of this year.

The media and those attending the meeting should be made aware of the
cyber- surveillance and free expression issues in the country. As is
the case with all UN meetings, a host country agreement will be
drafted, negotiated and agreed to by the UN and Azeri govt.

With luck, rights friendly free expression provisions will be included
that would protect anyone attending the conference (including citizens
from az) from facing legal consequences from the azeri govt.

We shall see..

Robert


Sent from a mobile device.  Apologies for typos or brevity.


On 2012-01-09, at 10:16 AM, Katy Pearce ucsb <kpearce at umail.ucsb.edu> wrote:

> Thanks Eric.
>
> Will pass this to Ali.
>
> Actually we find that there is cybersurveillance (documented in the
> paper that was linked to above) in Azerbaijan.
>
> I would expect the AZ government to use this new law to engage in more
> cybersurveillance...
>
> On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 5:53 AM, Eric S Johnson <crates at oneotaslopes.org> wrote:
>> Within the context of our technology mentoring in the ISC, we advise folks
>> in “risky” countries that mobile phones are, everywhere and always, a very
>> high security risk. To the extent that contemporary software used by law
>> enforcement agencies with access to MNOs’ log files can relatively easily
>>
>> ·        know all (turned-on) mobile devices (phones, SIMs)’ locations at
>> all times, now and in the past,
>>
>> ·        store, read, and analyse all SMSs ever sent, and
>>
>> ·        enumerate identities and networks of people by looking at who’s
>> talking to whom,
>>
>> the question of whether a SIM was purchased anonymously may be relatively
>> irrelevant. Many countries already require all SIMs to be identified with an
>> individual (say, Burma, Belarus, most EU countries (certainly France), or (I
>> think) the US). (China has, since October 2010, required SIM sales to be
>> identified with a person, but the rule’s observed in the breach.)
>>
>>
>>
>> And, to the extent that all MNOs’ operation depends on frequency licensing
>> from the governments in whose jurisdiction they operate, all MNOs are, by
>> definition, totally under those governments’ control, and will in any case
>> eavesdrop on, and/or terminate, any and all clients’ use of their networks,
>> upon gov’t demand.
>>
>>
>>
>> We think the key is to encourage folks to use internet instead of
>> calls/SMSs, and to help make sure folks’ internet use is, to the maximum
>> extent possible, encrypted. Certainly, that’s my modus operandii when in
>> Azerbaijan, Burma, China, or Uzbekistan (all of which I’ve visited in the
>> last six months).
>>
>>
>>
>> Katy, do you (or Ali) think the new AZ regulation will really materially
>> change the degree of risk associated with activists’ use of mobile
>> communications technologies? The key issue is probably more one of whether
>> the gov’t of AZ is using the kinds of the software mentioned above, rather
>> than whether SIMs can be procured anonymously.
>>
>>
>>
>> For the record, AFAIK, AZ doesn’t censor internet access at all, nor are
>> there well-documented cases of cybersurveillance (although activists should
>> always assume attempts are being made). However, starting in the second half
>> of 2011, major independent Azerbaijani news-providing sites have found
>> themselves under occasional DDOS attacks.
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Eric
>>
>>
>>
>> From: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu
>> [mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu] On Behalf Of Katy Pearce
>> ucsb
>> Sent: Saturday, 07 January 2012 02:29
>> To: liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu
>> Subject: [liberationtech] Azerbaijan wants to register mobile phones
>>
>>
>>
>> http://blog.novruzov.az/2012/01/azerbaijan-to-register-all-mobile.html
>>
>> Blogger (and friend) Ali Zovruzov has translated a new law in Azerbaijan
>> where all mobile phones will be registered to the government and the
>> government will have the potential to shut off mobile communication.
>>
>> The measure bypassed the parliament and was approved directly by the Council
>> of Ministers (which is sort of like the president's cabinet).
>>
>> On his blog some commenters don't think that this is a big deal, but...
>>
>> For some Azerbaijan context - it has been becoming more authoritarian and
>> using technology to aid that:
>> http://caucasusedition.net/analysis/%E2%80%9Cthis-is-what-can-happen-to-you%E2%80%9D-networked-authoritarianism-and-the-demonization-of-social-media-in-the-republic-of-azerbaijan/
>>
>>
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