Sunday, January 08, 2006

free speech: blogging

Spirit of America has launched the BlogSafer wiki, available at http://www.blogsafer.org. BlogSafer contains a series of guides on how to blog under difficult conditions in countries that discourage free speech ...

In past several years at least 30 people have been arrested, many of whom have been tortured, for criticizing their governments. This trend is likely to increase in the coming year.

The five guides that are currently on the wiki serve bloggers in the following countries:
  • Iran (in Persian)
  • China (Chinese)
  • Saudi Arabia (in Arabic—also useful for other Arabic-speaking regimes such as Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia)
  • Malaysia (in English—also applicable to neighboring Indonesia and Singapore)
  • Zimbabwe (in English—applicable to English-speaking Africans as well as aid workers)
These countries were chosen because they are representative of the kinds of repressive tactics that have been used in the past several years against bloggers. These include filtering, interrogation, torture and imprisonment.
I've just read the Anonymous Blogging Guide - Malaysia and it does seem to me to be an excellent introduction to anonymous blogging. The range of technologies available to evade detection is impressive and growing. This extract from the conclusion summarises the political goal and the technologies employed. Read the whole thing and the resource guide if you want to explore or use the technologies more for yourself:
You have a right to be heard. Your voice is important to Malaysia, both for its present and its future. However, contradicting the accepted common truths of a nation can be frowned upon, and a government that is on the defensive politically can be challenging to those who wish to add their voices to the discussion of their country’s future. Someone who cares about this future can do no good mute. You must remain in possession of your voice.

To that end, we have covered basic anonymization measures, such as pseudonymous blogging and web-based email; proxies; social options, such as individual Circumventor proxies, Adopt-a-Blog and assisted blogging; Tor servers’ onion routing; and very complex email-based blogging systems like Invisiblog.
Globalisation, the internet, free speech ... they all seem like very good things to me.

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