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Hackers Splatter Al Jazeera With Pro-Syria Rant

Hackers Splatter Al Jazeera With Pro-Syria Rant

Today in international tech news: Al Jazeera Web pages are raided by pro-Syrian hackers; Lenovo takes a tumble; The Pirate Bay cofounder will be shipped away; Turkey may (or may not) nix Western social media; and Russia unveils a device designed to circumvent nosy Western tech companies.

By David Vranicar
09/05/12 12:30 PM PT

The website of Al Jazeera, the main international news network of the Arab World, was hacked Tuesday by what appeared to be a group supporting the Syrian regime, The Guardian reported.

Both Al Jazeera's English and Arabic sites were affixed with messages decrying Al Jazeera's "position against the people and government of Syria." The messages went on to claim that Al Jazeera was supporting terrorist groups and spreading rumors.

The network confirmed that its servers had indeed been compromised.

Lenovo Shares Plummet on Sale

Shares of PC maker Lenovo Group suffered an 8 percent drop Wednesday after Japan's NEC sold its stake in the company, according to Reuters.

The deal between Lenovo, based in China, and NEC was worth nearly US$230 million.

Lenovo had been having a relatively good summer to date. Buoyed by its success in emerging markets, including its native China, the company is on its way to becoming the world's top PC maker. The company also recently announced the launch of Android devices in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Pirate Bay Cofounder to be Shipped Away

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the cofounder of the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay who was recently arrested in Cambodia, will be deported, reports the BBC.

Svartholm faces jail time in his native Sweden for copyright infringement. However, because Cambodia and Sweden do not have an extradition treaty, it is uncertain to where he will be deported, according to the BBC.

Turkey Could Nix Twitter, Facebook

Turkey is planning to block access to Twitter and Facebook, according to New Europe Online, an outlet that covers European politics.

The New Europe article cites this Turkish-language article, which quotes the Turkish Minister of Transport and Communication saying that social media are a threat.

Turkey rebutted with this release (in Turkish), which denies the claim.

The original New Europe Online story has not been amended, so it is unclear where this situation stands at the moment.

Whatever happens, Turkey has had a love-hate relationship with online censorship. Turks protested last November when legislation was introduced to regulate some information on the Internet. Prior to that, the country tapped into social media after a 2011 earthquake to coordinate relief efforts .

Mashable had a write-up about the potential social media ban here.

Wary of Western Tech, Russia Unveils Its Own Tablet

Russia announced that a government-sponsored project has produced a secure tablet that can be used by government officials and state industries, according to AFP.

The encrypted tablet, which reportedly has the feel of Google's Android, was unveiled at a Berlin electronics show. The device is equipped to perform all the functions of an Android device but will guard data from Google.

Chinese Official Wants Asia-Specific Social Media

A senior Chinese official Tuesday urged Asian media groups to concoct versions of Facebook and Twitter specific to the region, according to Chinese outlet Xinhua.

Asian media groups' influence was lagging compared to the continent's importance in the world economy, according to Xinhua. The official went on to bemoan the fact that 80 percent of news comes from Western media, and said that was the case in part because of a lack of Asian platforms.


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