Home / Blogs

Controlling Cyber Dissidents?

Blogging is not only a well-established element of pop culture, it has become a tremendously influential communications mechanism. As early as March 2002, an article in Wired discussed the blogging "revolution" and declared that blogging "could be to words what Napster was to music - except this time, it'll really work."

Although in America blogging is an essential component of political discourse, in some countries it is a crime. For example, the most recent Internet Under Surveillance report by Reporters Without Borders notes that two Internet users in the Maldives "have been sentenced to life imprisonment for criticizing a dictatorship...that has been in power for the past 40 years."

Reporters Without Borders is holding a press event to highlight their concerns "that the countries that least respect free expression are playing a dominant role in the preparation..." of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) conference.

To call much needed attention to the role of various dictatorships in helping set global internet policies, Reporters Without Borders will be represented at a preparatory conference being held in Geneva February 18-25 by "by a delegation of Chinese, Iranian, Tunisian and Maldivian cyber-dissidents and bloggers so that they can describe the violations of online free expression that take place in their countries."

As a Reporters Without Borders official explained, "We would like to put a face to the repression against Internet users in some of the countries that will be parading at the WSIS."

The Reporters Without Borders press conference will be held on February 17th at 2:00 pm at Charly's Multimedia Check Point in Geneva. The press conference is being held at an internet café "so the cyber- dissidents can support their presentations with concrete examples of censorship."

All internet stakeholders who value freedom of expression, including corporations, governments NGOs, and individuals, should pay close attention to both the press conference and the WSIS process and not take their freedom for granted.

By Bruce Levinson, SVP, Regulatory Intervention - Center for Regulatory Effectiveness
Follow CircleID on
Related topics: Censorship
SHARE THIS POST

If you are pressed for time ...

... this is for you. More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Vinton Cerf, Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

Share your comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related

Topics

IP Addressing

Sponsored byAvenue4 LLC

Cybersecurity

Sponsored byVerisign

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

DNS Security

Sponsored byAfilias

New TLDs

Sponsored byAfilias