Advocacy Recap

After blogging about free speech issues and dangers faced by bloggers and reporters in various parts of the world, I think it would be nice to look back and check on them.

On October 20, 2009; I discussed about how the  city of Pittsburg-hosting G20 summit, harassed protesting activists and even tried to clamp down on their Twitter activity.

Activist Elliot Madison who works with People's Law Collective, his home was raided by authorities, he and another man were accused of

” using Twitter to direct the movements of G20 protesters and update them about movements of police in Pittsburgh.”

Indie culture website Death +Taxes has an interesting analysis of how the US government is championing internet freedom in rest of the world but is cautious about the web's influence at home. Elliot Madison case is mentioned as a cautionary tale.

“Activist Elliot Madison used Twitter to help crowds of protesters disperse from advancing police. The government didn’t take kindly to Madison using the very same tactics they had encouraged Iranians to use in 2009, and so they raided Madison’s hotel room. A week later the FBI raided Madison’s home ‘Tortuga House’ in Queens, NY, on a search warrant related to Madison’s Pittsburgh tweets.

The message was profound: Twitter activism used abroad in unfriendly regimes like Iran is okay, but used here at home and it becomes a felony.”

Here is Madison speaking  about the whole incident at Let Them Talk.

Threats against Vietnam's growing democracy movement was also a frequent topic in my posts. On July 20,2009's post I discussed about bloggers being randomly detained and sent to prison without fair trail.

“Vietnam's growing democracy movement is under attack from the state once again.Pro-democracy blogger Nguyen Tien Trung was arrested earlier this month.”

Unfortunately, Nguyen Tien Trung is now serving a seven year prison sentence.

Nguyễn Tiến Trung has been sentenced to 7 years of jail, and 3 years of probation, this Thursday, January 20th 2010.

Trung is a pacifist, and he only expressed his wish for more freedom of speech in his country. He was accused of trying to overthrow the current regime. That is the reason why he has been in jail in Hô-Chi-Minh-City in Viêt Nam since the 7th of July 2009.

His supporters have set up a blog to unite supporters and demand for Trung's release.

In the next post we will look back at online free speech controversy at Purdue University and Turkey's YouTube ban.


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