Friday, 5 August 2011

(Free) speech online

Shortly before my weekend starts I wanted to share with you a video that I have watched recently. It's another inspiring TED Talk. This time I stumbled upon a presentation of Rebecca MacKinnon, an expert on Chinese Internet censorship, who talks about problems with free speech in the online environment ('Let's take back the Internet!'). It made me wonder about times changing and how our ancestors fought hard battles to have a right to speak publicly about any (well, almost any) subject they wanted to, and how we are now taking it for granted.

Also, since I have visited Vietnam at the beginning of this year I became more aware of Internet censorship. Namely, I encountered problems with logging on certain websites while I was in Vietnam, e.g. Facebook was blocked most of the time. Then my Vietnamese friends explained to me that it was not due to a network problem, as I thought it was, but rather it was an intended action of a network who needed to please the communistic authorities by not letting its users use/see certain content online. I was also quickly brought up to date with anti-censorship software that I could install on my laptop and go around the network's restrictions.

Without much further ado...


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