World Day Against Cyber Censorship
Journalist rights group Reporters without Borders have declared today as World Day Against Cyber Censorship. In a statement from their website, they explain the intention of the campaign:
This event is intended to rally everyone in support of a single Internet that is unrestricted and accessible to all. It is also meant to draw attention to the fact that, by creating new spaces for exchanging ideas and information, the Internet is a force for freedom. However, more and more governments have realised this and are reacting by trying to control the Internet.
As part of the campaign, the watchdog group have come out with a report for 2010 which explores that state of the Internet in terms of censorship in many different countries around the world – the ones that Reporters without Borders declare to be “Enemies of the Internet”. [Download the PDF of the report here]
Among the countries listed are:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
They also listed a few countries “under surveillance”. Malaysia is listed in this category (check out Pages 46 – 47 in the report.) The introduction to this chapter reads:
For the time-being, there is no network censorship on the Malaysian agenda, but bloggers and online journalists are being harassed and the authorities are producing a proliferation of statements about their distrust of the new media.
Among the other countries in the list include:
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
Last night, on the eve of the World Day Against Cyber Censorship, the Reporters without Borders, together with Google also unveiled the winner of their “Net Citizen” award. The winners are a collective of Iranian women bloggers, and they were selected for their reporting of the post-election unrest in Iran last year.
An AFP report reads:
The online journalists of women’s rights blog we-change.org were given the “Net Citizen” award, a new prize by Google and French media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to defend freedom of expression online.
Dozens of the Iranian site’s contributors have been detained for reporting online on huge anti-government demonstrations that broke out amid claims of fraud in Iran’s election, RSF said.
“The Iranian women’s movement has always shown resistance… Now the movement is bringing its experience and methods of working democratically into cyberspace,” said one of its members, Parvin Adalan, accepting the award at Google’s Paris offices.
To find out more about World Day Against Cyber Censorship, and Reporters without Borders, visit their website here. You can also download the campaign’s logo to be used as your email signature or just a button for your blog.
12.50pm Malaysian time (+8 GMT)