Monday, 6 November 2006

Internet freedom of speech: visit Reporters without Borders' site to support cyberdemo against online censorship

Tomorrow, between 11 A.M. on 7 November to 11 A.M. on 8 November (Paris time), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) are asking Internet users to visit their site to show support for RSF's campaign against internet censorship. You can click on an interactive map of the world showing "Internet black holes" (countries which censor Net use e.g. imprison bloggers), send a message to Yahoo against their censorship of search engine results in China, etc.

Freedom of speech and privacy on the internet are increasingly under threat. Just a couple of weeks ago, Amnesty International made a statement at the opening of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens and issued its own call to bloggers to stand up for freedom of expression on the Net - "The organisation says this is a critical time when fundamental rights – particularly freedom of expression and privacy – are under threat from governments that want to control what their citizens say, and what information they can access".

Ironically, Greek authorities recently arrested a Greek blogger after a complaint that his aggregation blog linked to, yes just linked to (not made or repeated), slanderous material. As The Register commented, "the arrest highlights an endemic misunderstanding of internet technology and policy, where authorities try to enforce laws over the net by charging whoever they can in their own country, who are nearest to the problem."

So, do consider visiting the RSF site between the times stated, tomorrow (check the current time in Paris). I will be.

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