Monday, November 06, 2006

Internet Freedom: Invitation to an Online Protest at RSF

Ever been to an international online demonstration? Me neither. Nevertheless, I plan to attend my first this coming Tuesday and I'd like to have you come along. The cause? Internet censorship. The place? Reporters Without Borders website,, which explains:

No one should ever be prevented from posting news online or writing a blog, but they are in the 13 countries singled out by Reporters Without Borders for a 24-hour online protest against Internet censorship.

Worldwide, 61 people are currently in prison for posting subversive content on a blog or website. Reporters Without Borders is compiling a list of 13 countries whose government are Internet enemies because they censor and block online content
that criticizes them. The Internet scares. Censors of every kind exploit its
flaws and attack those who pin their hopes on it.

The protest will take place from 11 am on Tuesday, November 7 through 11 am Tuesday, November 8. Since the announced times are Paris times, you'll need to do this sometime Tuesday. What do you do?

Go to during this 24-hour period, find the list of 13 countries that are Internet enemies and click on an inter-active map of the world to help make the Internet black holes disappear. Each click will help to change the map's appearance. The aim is to re-establish the Internet in the countries where it is censored, to rebuild it before the 24 hours are over. Every vote will be counted. Every click will help Reporters Without Borders to speak with more force when it condemns behaviorviour of those regimes that censor what should an arena for free expression.

If you take any time to read blogs around the world--and I encourage that for some insight into how others think--you will know what a serious problem Internet censorship and the blocking of blogs presents.

If you are in the USA you are lucky. All you need to do to counteract anything said here is to click that "GET YOUR OWN BLOG" button at the top of the page and just start writing. Many other people around the world not only don't have that option, they also won't be able to see what you have written. This problem continues to plague countries around the world--in far more countries than the worst offenders Reporters Without Borders reports. In the past year countries which you might think fairly free such as India, Pakistan, Bahrain and Greece have been affected. So c'mon to the online demonstration. Ideas matter, and they matter a lot. Make your voice heard. On next Tuesday, November 7, just click here.


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