Visa fullständig version : On Internet Censorship and The Right to Information

2009-08-06, 19:05

First of all I am incredibly excited with what you have started in Sweden, how the Pirate Parties have been spreading all around the globe and thank you for enabling all of us to debate and exchange ideas on issues related to internet freedom through this forum.

I've read your principles and positions regarding the three main issues as you've defined them : copyright law, patents and right to privacy. I've also looked at the international growth of the movement, pirate parties being founded all around the globe, or, well, mostly around the "developed world".

I am not a fan of the highly political distinction between the "developed" vs "developing" world, and I do think that these categories can be misleading when taken for granted. However, it has always been striking to see the actual differences in the ways in which we define our priorities and burning issues, and it has been somewhat surprising to see that the issue of internet censorship is completely absent from your discussions, even though it is not a major issue in EU countries.

By the way, I am writing from Turkey, a country where the ongoing internet censorship has been a major issue in the last 2 years, with -among others- youtube being banned for almost a year. On the positive part, this has layed ground for the formation of various civil initiatives and associations around the defence of our right to information. I sincerely wish that my country will join the pirate movement, but if it does, website bans and the right to information will certainly be at the center of our agenda, and we are not the only people who, before copyright and privacy issues, has to defend its right to access information.

If this movement is to be truly global, and spread beyond the borders of the "Western" world to reach countries such as China, Vietnam, Iran, Cuba, Russia and so on, the issue of censorship and the right to information has to be addressed at some point. I know for example that various forces within the EU have lent support to civil initiatives in Turkey who were advocating for internet freedom.

Governments have so far tried to control and monitor their citizens' use of and access to information through the internet in various ways, by banning websites, monitoring individual users' accounts, emails and so on, and these are partly addressed by your political agenda. I seriously hope that this movement will gain strength also in the "developing" world in countries where censorship remains the main issue and that more organizations within these countries will be formed against internet censorship.

Finally, I would like to share a free patch that was developed by a Turkish guy who I don't know, but appreciate a lot, that once downloaded on your computer, will allow you to access all websites banned in your country. The website was initially only in Turkish, but is now available in English, Chinese, Arabic, and many other languages. You can also report banned websites in your country, they work on it and update the patch.

Here is the "judicial prohibition obliterator" : www.makat.org

Cheers :),