The hunt against freedom: this February favourite action?

The headlines those past few weeks seem to concentrate on freedom of expression and its curtailments, whether in democratic countries or not.

The events which started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and now Lybia show how internet is the centre of a battle on both sides as well as in the US.

Turns Out Egypt Did Have An Internet Kill Switch, TechDirt 10 february 2011

China Doesn’t Want People Talking About Egyptian Uprising Online“, TechDirt 31 January 2011

Libya Disconnects From The Internet… Because That Worked So Well In Egypt, TechDirt 21st 2011

China’s President Wants Greater Internet Censorship; Worried About Middle East Uprisings, TechDirt 21 February 2011

How The 1991 ‘Usenet Revolution’ In Moscow Predates The ‘Twitter Revolution’ Claims, TechDirt 15th February 2011

The Return Of COICA; Because Censorship Is Cool Again, TechDirt, 16 February 2011

Ron Wyden Speaks Out Against COICA: We Shouldn’t Toss Out The First Amendment Just To Go After A Few Bad Actors, TechDirt 16th, 2011

See also Probably Not The Best Time To Introduce Legislation That Can Be Described As Having An ‘Internet Kill Switch’, TechDirt 31 January 2011

The US is certainly not heading in the right direction. In the above posts, the main fear is that foreign regimes will use the US example to further their programmes of censorship. The fear starts to be a reality when China claimed it could censor given that the US does the same! It comes back to political will: human rights is not simply for others, but first of all for us including in the most dire situations. Do not pretend to teach others what you do not practice yourself… The same comment goes for corporations that cannot at the same time dissociate themselves from the events in the Middle East and then embrace it when things start to look better. One cannot serve two masters simultaneously…

Web firms aim to benefit from role in uprising, Financial Times, 13 February 2011

At least Vodafone is leading the way on that matter: “How Businesses have responded in Egypt“, Salil Tripathi, Dated: 07 Feb 2011

And the report on the website Business and Human Rights,  Dunstan Allison Hope, Business for Social Responsibility, 15 Feb 2011

the question could actually be stretched to companies selling arms/weapons, and not simply the telecom/internet ones.

Egyptian Police Using U.S.-Made Tear Gas Against Demonstrators, Sarah O. Wali And Deena A. Sami, ABC News [USA] 28 January 2011
Father Of The Great Firewall Defends Chinese Internet Censorship By Noting The US Does The Same Thing, TechDirt 18th 2011

Russia Looking To Mimic China In ‘Crowdsourcing’ Internet Censorship, TechDirt 10 February 2011

TechDirt has reproduced Hillary Clinton’s speech on freedom, noting rightly that the rationale about Wikileads exception is less than clear. Hillary Clinton Talks The Talk On Internet Freedom; Will The Administration Walk The Walk?, TechDirt, 16 February 2011

Investigators Still Can’t Find Any Evidence To Link Assange & Manning; DoD Insists It Must Be True, TechDirt 14 February 2011

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in censorship, Countries - China, Countries - US, Freedom of speech, Technology - neither good or bad but never neutral. Bookmark the permalink.

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