Take a stand for freedom online

November 7, 2006

My article this week at The Blogging Times is dedicated to Reporters Sanscensored Frontiers 24-hour online demo against Internet censorship (more details at RSF here). I wrote the article on Monday morning. 24 hours later and what do I read in Bloglines:

The Guide:

On November 3rd, US telecom giant Verizon says it will disconnect a Montreal-based internet service provider (ISP) Epifora whose clients host sexually edgy chat sites. Civil-liberties experts say it’s an unprecedented assertion of corporate control over legal expression.

they also provide other disturbing news out of the United States, some of which I wasn’t previously aware of:

The US government has also lately been turning down the thermometer on internet speech.

?Ǭ? Based on SM stories she had written and posted to her web site, Karen Fletcher was indicted in September for obscenity by US federal prosecutors on charges that carry up to 30 years in prison.

?Ǭ? US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urged Congress in September to pass legislation requiring that ISPs log all users’ internet activity

?Ǭ? In August, the US Senate ratified the International Convention on Cybercrimes– which requires signatories to investigate and arrest people for suspected crimes– including crimes of expression– that may not be even be illegal in the place where they were committed.

According to Slashdot:

“The Brazilian senate is considering a bill that will make it a crime to join a chat, blog, or download from the Internet without fully identifying oneself first. Privacy groups and Internet providers are very concerned, and are trying to lobby against the bill, but it seems they won’t have much success.”

It just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it. I’m no anti-war, raving lefty, but you’ve really got to ask the question: what in the world are US, UK and Australian troops doing in Iraq, because they certainly aren’t fighting for freedom, after all, our freedoms continue to be taken away. The one thing that sets the Western World apart from the barbarism of many other countries is being given up. Dare I say, but are the terrorists actually winning?

Support RSF by posting in support of free speech online, on your blog, on November 7, and by visiting their site. If we don’t speak loudly now, we may never have the opportunity to do so again in the future.


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