Monday, November 21, 2005

Censorship in the spotlight

The issue of censorship was the focus of a raging debate at a UN communications and technology summit last weekend, according to a report in the Weekend Australian.

The article summarises the debate between those who say that the Internet should be available for people to exercise freedom of speech and those who claim that Internet restrictions are warranted to protect the state.

China and Iran were two of the 15 countries that the French press freedom group Reporters sans Frontiers, labelled "enemies of the Internet" in a protest at the Summit. Interesting to see that the latest estimate of the number of blogs in China is 6 million and growing, and 700,000 in Iran - staggering numbers!

Will such governments ever willingly back down in their views about censorship or will technology such as blogs force them to? I suspect that the collective voice power the blogosphere provides otherwise once repressed, disgruntled, frustrated or angry individuals, is an issue that governments on that list of 15 countries will not be able to ignore.


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