The fence was amazingly fast and almost complete. In the midst of a popular revolution – one that was blogged, YouTubed and twittered in cyber attacks minute by minute – the Egyptian regime has tightened its Internet connection at the end of January, the stifling of free flow of information to down time for an announcement.
After a caustic response nationally and internationally, possibly in the countries of North Africa are Internet service providers restored the connection. However, media analysts warn that demand desperate ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak of information control – a tactic proven repressive regimes – adapted to new technologies of communication today is only part of a growing global trend.
In fact, he warned that “Freedom on the Net” study published by the U.S. organization Freedom House in late April that efforts to control and censor the common cyberspace – to block websites bloggers jailed – and a growing number of governments the world have raised their later years.
“In authoritarian states, these efforts are in part rooted in the existing legal frameworks, which have limited the freedom of traditional media,” the study said. The usual suspects – China, with the most sophisticated equipment in the world of state censorship, Iran, Venezuela, Egypt and Tunisia – are among those identified as perpetrators.
However, “In most democratic countries – like Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and the UK – the freedom of the Internet is increasingly compromised by the legal harassment, censorship or opaque expanding surveillance procedures, “the study continues.
“These techniques go beyond Internet censorship,” said Danny O’Brien, coordinator of the Internet promoting the CPJ and author of the report. “Overall, these digital attacks undermine our universal right to information.”
The list includes the old tactics that imprisonment and violence against independent journalists and opposition to high-tech methods of censorship and a denial of service cyber-attacks and the Internet called “kill switch” similar to Egypt.
Press Freedom in the Networked World
By amplifying the voices of citizens through the proliferation and penetration of information technologies and communication technologies (ICT) throughout the world – according to Freedom House, more than two million people have Internet access, a number which has doubled since 2006 – once well-defined lines between the journalist and contributor to the viewer, and the corresponding source are fuzzy, also amplify the threat to press freedom online censorship.
“The greater participation in the new platform provided by ordinary people are exposed to some of the same penalties faced by well-known bloggers, journalists and rights activists online,” said Freedom House study.
The large number of active voice contributing to the dissemination of news – some with dubious intentions or identities – also called for a reassessment of journalism itself, with some arguing that crowd-sourcing can boggle the quality and accuracy of new.
Others, such as journalism and media analyst based in New York University professor Jay Rosen, find the value of mass participation in the reporting. “The news system is stronger,” he wrote in his recent post, saying that the contribution of friends and followers is better news.
“We have a flow of material – videos, photos, testimonials and tweets – and we can weave a story about the site, only persons who violate all the curfew and risk having to tell their story” North Africa and Middle East editor of Global Hussaini Amira Voices echo in an interview with IPS during the Egyptian revolution.
“The ability to listen to participants in a people power movement is a huge improvement in how they are generally covered lift, understood primarily as government spokesman and professional talking heads” Ethan Zuckerman, a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, told IPS: “You want the biased coverage of the elites – there you go..”
Later in this new model of journalism participatory democracy, where citizen input can be just as important for journalists to veterans and traditional agenda-setters, the impact of increased online censorship and quadrupled since it may affect the layman random Twitter on the day’s events as much as the opposition prolific blogger.
In “The Illusion Net: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom”, the author debunks prevailing thought Evgeny Morozov and techno euphoria surrounding the first was tough on Iran in 2009 as a revolution, was supported on Twitter.
“In any case, Iran revealed the Twitter revolution intense desire for a Western world where information technology is liberating rather than oppressive, a world where technology could be harvested to spread democracy around the world instead to strengthen existing autocracies, “she writes.
As the Internet and other ICT has apparently praised their ability to democratize the processes of news-making and acquisition news, technology can also be used to oppression, such as Freedom House and publications CPJ show.
Adapting Old Strategies to New Technologies
“The most surprising of these Online oppressors is not who they are – they’re all people a long history of oppression – but how much time they adapted to the old strategies of the online world,” O’Brien says CPJ report.
Despite the apparent with manual systems to adapt and to co-opt the ICT – filtering of the results to the service’s fleet fingers nimble with online commentators paid the pro-mail system – there are also the host tools to circumvent censorship.
These tactics are so new they are old, including the use of code words of the Chinese blogs, the web proxy to mask your location, and surely the next-to-be developed but a number from the tactic has been created to collect and disseminate information – a key requirement of advertising, whether online or off.
When the Internet was “killed” in Egypt, bloggers and journalists have found ways to ensure that the voices of people on the ground were not completely extinguished.
“The first day there was a total blackout,” Husseini told IPS. “By the second day we went to the essentials. People have used phones, urging people abroad, while others have been rewritten. ”
IPS own Emad MacKay and Adam Morrow Cairo broadcasts transmitted over the wired network with colleagues in New York and London, which made their words for publication.
“Other people were glued to their television screens, see Al-Jazeera,” Hussaini said. “People were Twitter and blogs based on what they saw.”
“We saw bodies in the streets. We have seen demonstrations. We saw the police beating and spraying, “she recalled. “All the images were broadcast live into our living rooms.”
But the most creative and inspiring solutions may be, the sad reality is that it should not be necessary in the first place, “said Zuckerman.
“Circumvention tools can be useful and valuable,” Zuckerman told IPS, but stop the Internet shows that the Egyptian government has made a real can always “pull the plug” if they are willing to suffer the tax consequences and public relations. ”
- U.S.’s Web Censorship Eats Away at Freedom (censorshipinamerica.com)
- Press Freedom Day Notes Impact of Citizen Journalism (censorshipinamerica.com)
- Online Censorship Now Bordering on the Ridiculous in Turkey (censorshipinamerica.com)
- Censorship – Cyber Attacks Threaten Internet Freedom (censorshipinamerica.com)