March 2, 2009

Blogs Accessible in Ethiopia Now

Blogs Accessible in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government seems unblocking its ban on websites and blogs designated as government critic. Well, the government's ban on all blogspot.com related blogs will also be lifted, in turn, Deje Selam will also be accessible there.

Deje Selam has confirmed from its sources that actually Ethiopia related websites are free now.



Pro-democracy websites and blogs unblocked
Written on Sunday, March 1st, 2009 at 4:13 am by ethioforum
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EMF (01 March 2009) Reliable sources in Addis Ababa have informed EMF this week that all pro-democracy websites and blogs suddenly made access to internet users.
The websites had been unblocked shortly after the US state department released its 2008 Human Rights Reports, condemning the regime’s blocking Web sites, including the sites of the OLF, ONLF, Ginbot 7, and several news blogs and sites run by opposition Diaspora groups, such as the Ethiopian Review, CyberEthiopia.com, Quatero Amharic Magazine and the Ethiopian Media Forum.

Media watchdog, Reporters without Borders complained several times that the government was censoring sites deemed critical of the government. The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) stated that its servers were inaccessible to users, and that emails were not coming through to CPJ.

The Meles Zenawi regime was denying being involved in blocking the sites.

Reliable source from the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), the state-run monopoly telecom and Internet provider, told EMF that the Zenawi’s administration is using the Chinese expertises to block the sites and jam opposition shortwave Radios.

“By doing so the regime is spending the country’s hard earned, multi-million, foreign currency which is supposed to be used for the development purposes.” The source said.

Ethiopia, China and Zimbabwe are the three most named countries in the world which experience blocking internet access to sites.

2 comments:

LOM said...

Thanks to God !!!

One of Deje-selam's regular from kedest Hager Ethiopia

Anthony Mitchell said...

The article above sheds light on why it has not been possible for EEPCo to shake off the Chinese trojan attacks that have been launched from EEPCo’s website in ongoing attempts to penetrate the computers of all web visitors. The Chinese are using the ‘Silent love China’ trojan to collect email passwords and install monitoring software on website visitors to EEPCo. This would give the Chinese access to sensitive commercial documents and thereby enable them to gain an advantage in competing for large infrastructure contracts such as the Tekeze dam.

The extent of Chinese penetration of Ethiopian government websites is not known. A response to these Chinese actions will be difficult and time consuming because it will need to be done on a wide range of computers of everyone who may have recently visited an Ethiopian government website.

The Addis Chamber has a similar attack being launched from its website to penetrate the computers of all the Chamber’s website visitors. This attack uses JavaScript and has not been analyzed to discover who is controlling it.

These computer ‘shockers’ were discovered during the process of researching the engineering and technical feasibility of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam, as detailed here:

http://www.slideshare.net/anthony_mitchell/gilgel-gibe-iii-hydroelectric-dam-ethiopia-technical-engineering-and-economic-feasibility-study-report

As the author of the Gibe III technical report, I must confess that research for the report was hindered by the attacks described above. For citizens and businesses with interests in Ethiopia, the installation of Chinese monitoring software on their computers could have long term negative effects. The software will allow monitoring of political as well as commercial activities. It will also expose citizens to having their bank account and credit card information used by unknown parties.

Since the release of the Gibe III report, which first publicized computer security issues at EEPCo and the Chamber, no public discussion has been noted on those issues.

Do EEPCo and the Chamber have a responsibility to repair the computers that they have damaged? Do they have a responsibility to notify potentially affected parities and provide referrals for additional information?

I may not be the best person to make suggestions to the Ethiopian government on computer security, since my Gibe III report would be seen as critical of government actions in regard to expenditures of public funds, but if our roles were reversed I would hope that a quick response could be mounted and that would bring with it some positive benefits in terms of installing security and monitoring software that could quickly detect and respond to computers that are breached in the future.

I wish that I could recommend a long list of companies that could come in and clean up this security situation, but for the record there is only one company that I know of that has the capability to do so, and with which I have no commercial connection:

http://certstation.com/

In the short term, I recommend that everyone check their firewalls and make sure that their anti-virus software is up to date. Then run an anti-virus scan. Kaspersky is the cheapest of the major brands and was able to block the Chinese attack from EEPCo.

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