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September 22, 2005
A New Guide to Freeing Your Speech on the Internet
Reporters Without Borders has just unveiled a remarkable how-to guide for bloggers and "cyberdissidents" who want to make their voices heard in/from countries that are hostile to free speech. It's more specialized than EFF's exhaustive Legal Guide for Bloggers, focusing on 1.) how to create an effective voice online and 2.) overcoming the specific technical and practical challenges to free speech and anonymity in the face of government monitoring and censorship.
Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest. Plenty of bloggers have been hounded or thrown in prison. One of the contributors to this handbook, Arash Sigarchi, was sentenced to 14 years in jail for posting several messages online that criticised the Iranian regime. His story illustrates how some bloggers see what they do as a duty and a necessity, not just a hobby. They feel they are the eyes and ears of thousands of other Internet users.
The section called "Personal Accounts" is especially inspiring, providing the real-life stories of bloggers from all around the world; click on the links below for a few examples:
Hong Kong: "I kept my promise to those who died."
Iran: "We can write freely in blogs."
Bahrain: "We've broken the governments news monopoly."
The guide is available in Chinese, Arabic, Persian, English, and French. Just outstanding.
The Washington Post has an article today announcing the guide's release here. Previous relevant Copyfight coverage: Zuckerman on How to Blog Anonymously.
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