10.22.2008

The Right to Online Freedom

Internet now is an essential source for information, and indispensable means for communication.

It is well known that there is increasing international wave of people who indispensably depend on Internet with their affairs.

The story goes, few days ago, when I was surfing the net and I found out that our internet censorship geniuses have developed the blocking technology. So, my unblocking technology is not working anymore, and I have to use another technology (cgi proxy) which encrypt the address of the blocked page.

With hundreds of blocked websites range from news sites to cultural, political and even academic sites in addition to blogs, you have no choice but to unblock them.

This is the case of many countries but, in particular, this is the case of the Middle East region ― most of its countries.

It is really funny and ridiculous that regimes and governments armed to their teeth in front of armless peoples are fearful of information and clearly and publicly fear the word.

Is the word stronger than the weapon? Maybe who hides behind the weapon is always a coward one.

Let's leave this point to a future piece. For now, my point is that Internet as an international means, in its essence, should be internationally guaranteed and protected. The states should not be able to serve as barriers to the free flow of information online, especially for political or traditional motives serving imposed authoritarian or totalitarian system somewhere.

The United Nations is asked to formally internationalize the World Wide Web by means of the international law. So, we can publicly mark censorship regimes and governments ― which are non-democratic by their very nature ― with illegitimacy as violators of international norms and rights.

Furthermore, international organizations defending online freedom should include a practical side in their activities as providing and promoting unblocking technology to users in censorship countries.

Finally, there should be an international concerted campaign championing online freedom organized by organizations like Reporters Without Borders, which fighting online censorship.

The right to online freedom is an important part of human rights, and it is time for international acknowledgment of this truth.




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