In 2009, Global Voices launched Threatened Voices, an innovative project to track threats to bloggers and netizens worldwide. At the time, Threatened Voices filled a void in coverage, during a year a U.S. State Department official dubbed “the worst year in the history of the Internet as it related to Internet freedom.”
Now, three years later, as threats to netizens have increased, so has coverage of those threats. Dozens of local and international organizations, such as Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, regularly report on arrests, harassment and intimidation of bloggers and other Internet users. This is a good thing: raising awareness of free expression takes a village, so to speak. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (or EFF, where I serve as Director for International Freedom of Expression) is committed to focusing on these issues, but as a U.S. organization based in San Francisco, we rely upon our global contacts to keep us informed.
This is where Global Voices comes in. By partnering with Threatened Voices, EFF is able to stay on top of the latest threats faced by bloggers globally, while simultaneously raising awareness amongst EFF's members. Ultimately, this benefits bloggers, by ensuring that their voices reach the largest possible audience.
The project, Bloggers Under Fire, hosts a version of the Threatened Voices map on EFF's website, with frequent blog updates on individual cases. You'll also see cross-posted articles and original content from EFF activists. On behalf of both Global Voices Advocacy and the EFF, we welcome you to check out Bloggers Under Fire.