Internet Censorship

The US government, in collaboration with social media companies, is implementing massive restrictions on Internet access. Capitalist governments in Europe and throughout the world are enacting similar repressive policies.

In late April 2017, Google announced the implementation of new algorithms aimed at limiting or blocking access to the WSWS and other left wing, anti-war and progressive websites. Similar measures to deny Internet users access to revolutionary socialist and oppositional information and commentary have been implemented by Facebook and Twitter.

The World Socialist Web Site has taken the lead in exposing this conspiracy to censor the Internet and issued a call for the formation of an International Coalition of Socialist, Anti-War and Progressive Websites to fight back against this attack on freedom of speech and basic democratic rights.

Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves anti-encryption EARN IT Act

By Kevin Reed, 16 July 2020

The bipartisan vote passed to the floor of the Senate a redraft of the bill which exploits online child sexual abuse as a cover to attack free speech and encrypted electronic communications.

Amid Sri Lankan elections, YouTube censors Tamil-language WSWS posts

By V. Gnana, 16 July 2020

The move aims to prevent the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka from alerting Tamil-speaking workers internationally in a timely fashion of the political dangers they face.

Reddit bans 2,000 communities in major censorship action

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2020

On Monday, the news aggregation site Reddit banned the pro-Trump r/The_Donald and the left-radical r/ChapoTrapHouse, along with hundreds of other subreddits, in a censorship move aimed at satisfying the demands of advertisers.

Republicans introduce Senate bill to abolish strong encryption on consumer devices

By Kevin Reed, 29 June 2020

Three Republican Senators introduced a draft bill that would force tech companies to decrypt private consumer data on-demand for law enforcement.

New Zealand government introduces internet censorship legislation

By Tom Peters, 8 June 2020

The Labour Party-led government’s legislation would empower the Chief Censor “to make swift time-limited interim classification assessments of any publication.”

Trump threatens to close social media platforms after Twitter puts fact-check warnings on his tweets

By Kevin Reed, 28 May 2020

President Trump issued a threat to shut down social media companies on Wednesday after Twitter placed a fact-checking label on two of his tweets making unsubstantiated claims about mail-in ballots.

US government to file antitrust lawsuit against Google this summer

By Kevin Reed, 21 May 2020

The DOJ case will reportedly raise “concerns that Google uses its dominant search business to stifle competition.”

US Senate reauthorizes domestic surveillance, allows access to internet histories

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2020

The Senate voted 80 to 16 to reauthorize the domestic surveillance provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including rejection of an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from accessing the internet browsing and search histories of citizens.

Apple and Google implementing smartphone-based contact tracing technology

By Kevin Reed, 20 April 2020

The two US tech monopolies that dominate the international mobile devices market have announced a joint effort to implement COVID-19 contact tracing technologies.

Sri Lanka government intensifies crackdown on social media

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 9 April 2020

The arrest of social media users exposing Colombo’s inadequate responses to COVID-19 will be extended to online publishers and media outlets.

Why is the World Socialist Web Site banned from the subreddit r/coronavirus?

By Kevin Reed, 3 April 2020

The subreddit r/coronavirus has banned content from the World Socialist Web Site from being shared among its 1.8 million reader-members. We are demanding that the moderators explain why this decision has been made and immediately reverse this act of political censorship.

German government prepares for internet censorship and deployment of the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2020

The social democratic state premier of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, has called for a clamp-down against those contradicting official government propaganda about the coronavirus epidemic.

US federal appeals court rules that private technology conglomerates are not bound by First Amendment

By Kevin Reed, 2 March 2020

A federal appeals court in California upheld the dismissal of a 2017 lawsuit brought by the right-wing video publisher PragerU based on claims that YouTube was biased and was violating First Amendment freedoms.

Trump administration’s national counterintelligence strategy focuses on “hacktivists, leaktivists and public disclosure organizations”

By Kevin Reed, 15 February 2020

A major assault on First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press is being prepared.

US spied on governments for decades through secret ownership of Swiss encryption firm

By Kevin Reed, 13 February 2020

The revelations that the CIA and NSA have been spying on the diplomatic cables of governments around the world for the past five decades demonstrates that the American imperialism has long operated as a law unto itself in world affairs.

The Trump administration’s surveillance dragnet

By Niles Niemuth, 10 February 2020

The massive breach of the right to privacy, first justified by President Bush in the guise of the “war on terror,” then expanded under President Obama, is now being utilized in Trump’s fascistic war on immigrants.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham introduces bill that threatens end-to-end encryption

By Kevin Reed, 8 February 2020

The assault on end-to-end encryption is part of the ongoing drive by the state to censor and regulate content on the internet.

Elizabeth Warren issues call for internet censorship

By Patrick Martin, 31 January 2020

While nominally directed against Russia and right-wing “trolls,” the proposal would open the way to a sweeping attack on the democratic rights of the American people.

Edward Snowden warns that Assange and Greenwald prosecutions mark new stage in assault on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 January 2020

The NSA whistleblower wrote: “The most essential journalism of every era is precisely that which a government attempts to silence. These prosecutions demonstrate that they are ready to stop the presses—if they can.”

Private equity firm to purchase the assets of the .ORG domain registry for $1 billion

By Kevin Reed, 27 January 2020

Opposition is growing to the plan by the Internet Society, the non-profit organization responsible for managing the standards and protocols of the internet, to sell the top-level domain registry .ORG to the private equity firm Ethos Capital for $1.135 billion.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro government charges journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes”

By Bill Van Auken, 22 January 2020

The trumped-up charges against Greenwald by Bolsonaro’s fascistic government are of a piece with the global assault on free speech and democratic rights and the jailing of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Google suppressing World Socialist Web Site content in its search results for the New York Times’ 1619 Project

By Kevin Reed, 20 January 2020

The popular, authoritative and original content published by the World Socialist Web Site on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project is being manually suppressed by Google in search results.

Opposition grows to Nepal government’s move to curtail social media

By Rohantha De Silva, 17 January 2020

The Information Technology Bill’s vague language puts social media users at high risk for criticising business leaders, politicians and bureaucrats.

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter remove accounts and content opposing the illegal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani

By Kevin Reed, 16 January 2020

The social media companies YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are following the orders of the Trump administration in the aftermath of the criminal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani on January 3.

Desperate to stem protests, dozens of governments shut down internet access in 2019

By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019

Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.

Mueller probe accessed the Google account of Assange supporter Somerset Bean

By Kevin Reed, 5 December 2019

Somerset Bean, an artist and political activist, who has been a staunch supporter of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, revealed on Monday that Google was compelled by court order to provide the US authorities access to his online account.

Google fires four workers in apparent retaliation for their workplace activism

By Kevin Reed, 27 November 2019

Google dismissed the workers on Monday in retaliation for their participation in the organized opposition of the workforce to company policies and practices.

Wall Street Journal investigation confirms Google operates censorship blacklist

By Andre Damon, 18 November 2019

A report published Friday confirms many of the central allegations made by the World Socialist Web Site in 2017 regarding Google’s censorship of the internet.

Facebook and YouTube remove posts naming CIA impeachment whistleblower

By Kevin Reed, 11 November 2019

Facebook and YouTube have taken the extraordinary step of censoring social media content on their platforms that mention the name of the CIA whistleblower behind the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

The Democrats’ campaign for internet censorship: Who is to determine what are “lies”?

By Andre Damon, 9 November 2019

While couched in demagogic language accusing Facebook of “profiting” off of “disinformation,” the Democrats’ campaign for internet censorship is aimed at silencing political opposition and dissent.

Twitter’s ban on political advertisement: A new move to censor the internet

By Andre Damon, 1 November 2019

The move by Twitter is a capitulation to demands by congressional Democrats and the media that technology companies more aggressively censor political statements, in the guise of “fact-checking.”

Pentagon awards $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 1 November 2019

Amazon was widely expected to win the ten-year agreement, but Trump’s intervention apparently tipped the contract to Microsoft.

Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal arrested in Washington DC

By Kevin Reed, 30 October 2019

The independent journalist was shackled in a cage for five hours on a false charge stemming from protests at the Venezuelan embassy in April and May of this year.

GM fires Flint workers over social media posts during strike

By Jerry White, 29 October 2019

Flint Assembly workers, including a 19-year veteran of GM, have been targeted in a campaign of retaliation aimed at silencing opposition to the corporations and the UAW.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backs internet censorship

By Kevin Reed and Andre Damon, 25 October 2019

At a hearing Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez demanded that Facebook “fact-check” political statements and “take down lies,” endorsing calls by the intelligence agencies for technology companies to censor the internet.

New Zealand PM promotes internet censorship at UN

By Tom Peters, 30 September 2019

Jacinda Ardern met with world leaders and tech companies to promote a new “crisis response protocol” to rapidly remove online content deemed “extremist.”

Government Internet shutdowns on the rise internationally

By Kevin Reed, 11 September 2019

Instances of governments shutting down the Internet are on the rise in response to the growth of social conflict and protest, as well as the use of social media to organize political opposition.

DARPA requests proposals for “Semantic Forensics” system

US Defense Department prepares for mass internet censorship

By Kevin Reed, 6 September 2019

The Pentagon is seeking proposals from corporate technology partners for the development of an automated system that will censor “false media assets” and “disinformation.”

Media blacks out Roger Waters’ performance in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2019

The media silence is an act of political censorship, carried out in order to assist the US and British governments persecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

UK Home Office set up fake social media network to target young British Muslims

By Tania Kent, 30 August 2019

“This is Woke,” which describes itself as engaging “in critical discussions around Muslim identity, tradition and reform,” was created by a media company on behalf of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism at the Home Office.

Australian PM calls for new internet censorship measures at G7

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2019

Morrison is campaigning for an international crackdown on social media, while his government asserts the right to ban websites and domains domestically.

Twitter purges 200,000 accounts “originating from China”

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 August 2019

The company’s actions are part of a campaign, in collaboration with the US government and intelligence agencies, to censor unfavourable or adverse political content on social media.

Facial recognition technology and identity politics

By Kevin Reed, 17 August 2019

The Democrats are seeking to channel mass opposition to the wholesale invasion of privacy into a campaign to regulate and “equalize” facial recognition technology.

FBI presses for social media surveillance “early alerting tool” in aftermath of mass shootings

By Kevin Reed, 12 August 2019

The FBI is stepping up its campaign for a real-time social media alert tool to allow continuous surveillance of all social media activity across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

FTC imposes $5 billion fine on Facebook for “deceiving users” about data privacy

By Kevin Reed, 27 July 2019

The settlement is part of a concerted effort by the US government to implement regulations and control over social media platforms.

Chelsea Manning’s lawyer refutes conspiracy allegation against Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 25 July 2019

“I don’t think Chelsea was played at all,” Nancy Hollander told Australian television.

Australian government demands police-state powers over protests and exclusions of citizens

By Mike Head, 24 July 2019

The bills would hand governments the most authoritarian powers since the two world wars.

Consortium News website taken down by a malware attack after streaming program defending Julian Assange

By Kevin Reed, 20 July 2019

The independent investigative journalism website Consortium News was brought down on Monday by a malware attack following the inaugural episode of CN Live!

Twitter removes account of Assange defence organisation

By Mike Head, 13 July 2019

Unity4J, which campaigns against the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder, was given no reason for the suspension.

UK’s GCHQ spy centre seeks new powers to circumvent encryption

By Thomas Scripps, 6 July 2019

The new surveillance measures, known as a “ghost protocol,” would allow a government agent to “sit in” on ostensibly secure private conversations without other participants knowing.

Facebook planning to ban ads which discourage voting in US elections

By Kevin Reed, 5 July 2019

The new policy is a further expansion of Facebook’s censorship of left-wing and oppositional political views on its platforms.

Julian Assange’s birthday celebrated at vigils in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 July 2019

Linda Tenenbaum, a longstanding leader of the SEP, indicted the Australian government and the political and media establishment for abandoning Assange, an Australia citizen.

Trump national security team revives demand for “backdoor” access to encryption

By Kevin Reed, 3 July 2019

A Politico report has revealed that key National Security Council members have debated whether to ask Congress to pass laws that would make end-to-end encryption technologies illegal.

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board”

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2019

Behind the recent report on the creation of an Oversight Board to oversee “content decisions” at Facebook is a plan for social media censorship in defense of the global capitalist system.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) calls rally to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 25 June 2019

Support the SEG’s rally on Sunday July 14 as part of the international campaign to demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Why is the US government using social media to monitor the public?

By Kevin Reed, 24 June 2019

The lawsuit filed by New Sanctuary Coalition and other groups, says that ICE specifically targeted individuals for deportation, to suppress their political speech.

Facebook blocks ad for PES meeting in Paris to defend Assange

By Alex Lantier, 22 June 2019

The Parti de l’égalité socialiste calls on its supporters to share its material and support the freeing of journalist Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “fake news”

By Naveen Dewage, 19 June 2019

Colombo’s new laws to censor and control the internet and social media are moves towards the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule.

Creating the framework for government-directed online censorship

House Judiciary Committee begins antitrust inquiry into big tech

By Kevin Reed, 14 June 2019

A House subcommittee hearing on Tuesday began a major bipartisan drive for government-directed censorship of website and social media content.

“Yellow Vest” Facebook group with 350,000 members frozen on European election day

By Will Morrow, 28 May 2019

The group is used to organize “yellow vest” demonstrations and to share news articles, political statements and videos of police violence.

Speech by Ulrich Rippert to London meeting

“Defending Julian Assange requires the mobilisation of the working class in a struggle against capitalism”

20 May 2019

We are publishing the speech of Ulrich Rippert, chairman of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) in Germany, at the May 12 public meeting in London in defence of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

New Zealand PM leads global Internet censorship campaign

By Tom Peters, 18 May 2019

New Zealand’s Labour Party-led government is heading international efforts to exploit the Christchurch terrorist attacks to ramp up restrictions on social media.

France hosts “Christchurch call” summit to intensify internet censorship

By Will Morrow, 16 May 2019

Under the banner of fighting terrorism, the social media giants and capitalist states are seeking to censor social media to banish left-wing and anti-war views.

Censorship in the guise of opposition to monopoly control

Co-founder Chris Hughes calls for government break-up of Facebook

By Kevin Reed, 16 May 2019

The New York Times op-ed by Hughes is part of a campaign for government regulation of social media and technology corporations in order to step up censorship of left-wing political views.

German president calls for clampdown on freedom of speech, internet censorship at Berlin conference

By Johannes Stern, 14 May 2019

Ahead of the European elections on May 26, the ruling class aims to intensify internet censorship and silence critical viewpoints.

Free Assange NZ denounces hypocrisy at World Press Freedom Day event

By Tom Peters, 11 May 2019

Alex Hills from Free Assange New Zealand condemned the British government’s “brazen hypocrisy” and called on the media to “end the smears and lies about an anti-war hero.”

Facebook escalates social media censorship with shutdown of far-right accounts

By Kevin Reed, 4 May 2019

While the far-right has the backing of powerful factions of the state and the ruling class, the move by Facebook creates a precedent for the overt censorship of left-wing organizations.

“Today’s protest is a symbol of the fight for freedom”

French Yellow Vests join Assange extradition protest in London

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates Court protesting plans to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the US.

“Assange can only be defended by an international movement of the working class”

Christoph Vandreier speaks at Berlin rally to defend Julian Assange

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 April 2019

Christoph Vandreier, Deputy National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Germany and a candidate in the European elections, addressed a rally in front of the Ecuadorian embassy in Berlin in defense of the Wikileaks publisher.

UN official visits Julian Assange, investigating Ecuador’s illegal surveillance

By Mike Head, 26 April 2019

Confronted by worldwide protests and petitions, the British government felt compelled to grant the UN access to the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder.

Formerly-jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste fronts corporate media attack on Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 20 April 2019

Peter Greste, once incarcerated by the US-backed Egyptian junta, is using his reputation as a victim of attacks on press freedom to support the Washington-led efforts to suppress WikiLeaks.

SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert addresses free Assange rally in Berlin

13 April 2019

Ulrich Rippert, the chairman of the Socialist Equality Party, addressed a rally in front of the British embassy in Berlin, Germany, demanding the freedom of WikiLeaks Publisher Julian Assange.

The Assange arrest is a warning from history

By Comment by John Pilger, 13 April 2019

John Pilger, well-known filmmaker and investigative journalist, issued the following statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11.

Worldwide outrage over arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Niles Niemuth, 12 April 2019

After nearly seven years of confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange now faces the possibility of a year in a UK prison and extradition to the United States.

Amid corruption scandals and deals with IMF and Washington, Ecuador’s government betrays Assange

By Bill Van Auken, 12 April 2019

The handing over of Assange to his British and US persecutors is part of a sharp drive to the right by the corruption-stained government of Lenín Moreno.

Free Julian Assange!

Statement of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 12 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site emphatically condemns the forcible seizure and arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Defend Julian Assange!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 April 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) condemns the stepped-up preparations to expel Julian Assange from London’s Ecuadorian embassy and to force him into the custody of the British police. WikiLeaks reported today that it has information, from a source in the Ecuadorian state, that Assange’s eviction from the building, where he sought asylum in 2012, will occur “within hours or days.”

Australian government sets global precedent with online censorship bill

By Mike Head, 4 April 2019

While nominally directed against the far-right, the bill will be used to step up the offensive against oppositional, left-wing and socialist postings.

European Union intensifies internet censorship

By Justus Leicht and Johannes Stern, 27 March 2019

Two months before the European elections, the European Parliament has pushed through a directive to enforce the use of so-called upload filters in social media, thus further censoring the internet.

Australian government exploits fascist atrocity in New Zealand to push online censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 March 2019

The entire political establishment is seeking to cover up its responsibility for the fascist attack and exploit it to crack down on the democratic rights of ordinary people.

Unsealed documents shed light on state conspiracy against Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 22 March 2019

The unsealed documents shine a light on the desperate measures to which the US government has resorted in pursuing a legal pretext to prosecute Julian Assange.

Putin signs Russian internet censorship bills into law

By Clara Weiss, 22 March 2019

The two laws are part of an international campaign by the ruling class to crack down on the internet.

IYSSE holds rally at University of Michigan to defend Chelsea Manning

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at University of Michigan, 14 March 2019

The rally at the University of Michigan advanced an international strategy to mobilize youth, students and the broadest layers of the working class against the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning.

Mark Zuckerberg’s “Privacy Manifesto”: A brief for intensifying Internet and social media censorship

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2019

The new vision for Facebook published by Mark Zuckerberg on March 6 is part of the response by the ruling elite to the role that social media is playing in the growth of class struggle internationally.

Uganda’s social media tax leads to sharp drop in internet users

By Eddie Haywood, 9 March 2019

The government of President Yoweri Museveni, in power for three decades, regards social media with intense hostility and suspicion.

Greetings from the Sri Lankan Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee to the Assange defence rallies in Australia

2 March 2019

Tea plantation workers struggling for decent working conditions have expressed their solidarity with the fight to free WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2019

Social media companies would be required by law to remove what is deemed as “disinformation,” as well as “harmful content,” or face potential fines.

Alleging “Russian influence,” Facebook bans left-wing pages

By Andy Thompson, 20 February 2019

Facebook suspended four pages run by Maffick Media, including In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed, which posted content critical of US foreign and social policy.

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

16 February 2019

“It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire.”

Dearborn, Michigan mayor suppresses historical article on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism

By Tom Mackaman, 7 February 2019

The censored article details how Ford’s Dearborn Independent newspaper served as a platform for vile slanders against Jews—and an inspiration for Hitler and the Nazis.

Facebook’s censor Nick Clegg outlines plans for European elections

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2019

Facebook will play a major role in determining what voices Europe’s population are allowed to hear.

The Matamoros auto strike and internet censorship

By Andre Damon, 24 January 2019

The ongoing strike by over 70,000 workers in Matamoros, Mexico has been met with a media blackout by the major print and broadcast outlets.

Indian government foreshadows harsher internet surveillance and censorship

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 January 2019

The planned laws are part of vast array of anti-democratic measures being introduced by governments internationally to target and spy on internet users.

After attempted coup in Gabon, government imposes internet and media broadcast blackout

By Eddie Haywood, 11 January 2019

The imposition of a complete blackout of internet and broadcast services has long been utilized as a tool of repression by the Bongo government.

Der Spiegel’s counterfeit journalism and the campaign against “fake news”

By Peter Schwarz, 31 December 2018

The unmasking of a counterfeiter in the editorial offices of the German newsweekly Der Spiegel has exposed the manipulation of public opinion by the so-called authoritative media.

Facebook: The global censor

By Andre Damon, 29 December 2018

This year has seen an intensification of internet censorship by Google, Facebook and Twitter, transforming these companies into censors that police what their users say, do and think.

US media demands stepped-up domestic spying over Russian “meddling”

New York Times: Back to the good days before Edward Snowden!

By Andre Damon, 20 December 2018

In a revealing comment, the New York Times argues that the present hysteria over Russian “subversion” can roll back the impact of Edward Snowden’s revelation of illegal mass government surveillance.

A closer look at American “democracy”

By Barry Grey, 20 December 2018

The population is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other corporate-controlled party. This is what is called “democracy.”

SEP (Australia) meeting announces rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 December 2018

The protests in Sydney and Melbourne will demand that the government take immediate action to secure Assange’s return to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Democrats downplay Google censorship at congressional hearing

By Andre Damon, 13 December 2018

The principal targets of censorship by the Internet companies, working with the US intelligence agencies, are left-wing, anti-war and socialist political viewpoints.