Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stop internet censorship

Internet censorship is getting increasing attention, and rightly so. We're not just talking about people being prevented to express themselves openly via their websites, or having their content pulled, but also the efforts by authoritarian regimes – be they the government of China or some school in the US – to stop people accessing various sites on the internet because of their content.

This bugs me as a blogger, not just because my blog could in theory be blocked, but because I oppose political censorship.

I'm not talking about porn sites here – I'm all for stopping my son from accidently seeing pornography online. The technology these regimes are turning to, and the IT/internet companies that are colluding with them, is aimed at stopping people from reading online opinion sites, campaign websites, blogs and news services that may carry items critical of the regime.

Cory Doctorow at Boingboing has been doing a huge job to alert people to these issues, and documents the extensive efforts to oppose net censorship and expose copyright and intellectual property restrictions. Electronic Frontier Foundation has been doing an amazing job campaigning for free expression on the
internet for a while now. There's also Electronic Frontiers Australia, if you want to know more about censorship in Australia and help local initiatives against it.

Now Amnesty International has joined the movement against internet censorship with a new online petition and some other interesting stuff. Note the new campaign button I've put on my sidebar. Find out how you too can be 'irrepressible':
Irrepressible Adj. 1) Impossible to repress or control.

Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.

… Amnesty International … is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.
[Thanks to David for the tip.]

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