Many ruling powers across the globe feel threatened by the freedom of speech provided by the internet.
Every Government, TV news channel, newspaper, magazine, radio station – has their own agenda and since time immemorial the history books, works of art, plays and architecture were commissioned by the victors / rulers to reinforce their view on the world.
The internet is different, yes you can read stories about the latest sighting of Elvis, but amongst all the tons of chaff there are grains of truth written by people with no agenda, other than to tell their story.
In the West, the powers-that-be have struggled to control the internet. The latest move in the UK allows the Government to read all your emails and chat room messages. Even your local council can read your messages on facebook. Why? To combat the threat of terrorism.
China has a more direct approach. They simply shut down whatever makes uncomfortable reading.
It’s the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary, and so their population doesn’t get to hear about what happened 20 years ago, Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail and other social networking sites have been shut down.
Internet monitors have also shut down message boards on more than 6,000 websites affiliated with colleges and universities, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
Kate Adie, from the BBC, recently went back to China and showed students the famous photo of the man standing in front of the tank – and no one recognized it.
The internet may not be perfect. It may full of porn and junk, but it is a democracy that crosses all borders and continents, where stories can be published by anyone, and read by anyone, and that must be worth protecting.
Sources: The Guardian