Friday, March 14, 2008

First Online Free Expression Day



March 12, 2008 Reporters Without Borders has launched first Online Free Expression Day.

Reporters Without Borders said “From now on, we will organise activities every 12 March to condemn cyber-censorship throughout the world, A response of this kind is needed to the growing tendency to crack down on bloggers and to close websites."

“Today, the first time this day is being marked, we are giving all Internet users the opportunity to demonstrate in places were protests are not normally possible. We hope many will come and protest in virtual versions of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Cuba’s Revolution Square or on the streets of Rangoon, in Burma. At least 62 cyber-dissidents are currently imprisoned worldwide, while more than 2,600 websites, blogs or discussions forums were closed or made inaccessible in 2007.”

We are very much familiar with Internet censorship in Iran than the rest of world. Most of the time we can not download a simple content against Islamic regime. Even social networks like orkut.com is censored, also dating sites. Anything against Mullahs in Iran will go under strict censorship from a cartoon to a weblog text. People easily get arrested, tortured and imprisoned just because of a post in weblog! Unbelievably it's harsh and inhuman.

This day will be a new phenomena against government censorship of the Internet however cyber demonstration is not new for Iranian bloggers and we have had many cyber demonstrations in Internet environment, for instance recently we changed our weblog titles in solidarity with arrested students and against torturing them but in a world scale it will have a greater impact on corrupted governments who use censorship as a tool to limit their people knowledge and cut their connections from dissidents' ideas and also reality of the outside.

Reporters Without Borders has a list of “Internet Enemies” consist of Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. it's 15 countries now and there were only 13 countries in 2007 so it proves that governments are main part of digital gap and a barrier for information throughout the world.

Well, you know that not only Islamic Republic of Iran never misses any bad list in the world and also you will see it on top of the list, right after China!

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