Amnesty International has reported that the number of countries that now restrict access to the Internet is on the increase; as is the cooperation from the likes of Cisco Google Yahoo & Microsoft with corrupt regimes such as China with poor human rights records.
What’s this got to do with you well, not a lot if you don’t value your freedom, but if you do, perhaps is time that we all start to register our distaste with Google Yahoo and Microsoft etc as Amnesty suggest that they have been complicit in suppressing freedom.
One example quoted in the Telegraph is that of Shi Tao a Chinese, reporter whose now serving ten years in prison after Yahoo were kind enough to pass on his details to police.
According to Amnesty, sophisticated filtering systems are used to restrict free speech and thought in 25 countries including India, Iran, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.
I realise sometimes business has to be pragmatic but just how much business do these internet companies do, that they cannot just say no. If all these companies agreed to not offer assistance, in online repression, then maybe some of these countries would think again.
Fortunately here in Thanet we are current able to enjoy spouting great ideas and nonsense. It’s pleasing to see Kevin and Adem of Thanet Blog list being credited for their work in this weeks Thanet Times. Maybe we should just occasionally stop and think for a moment, about the millions around the world, who are threatened, punished and criminalised for doing what I’m doing (writing Bolix) or like you for reading it or maybe the Thanet Blog list for promoting it.
Still I don't think we should take our freedom for granted, even with a Labour government we've seen one attempt to outlaw free speech, in relation to discussing religion and one that actually is in place and quite effective is the one which gags local councillors from freely discussing local issues. If you don't believe me check out the Standards Board of England.