Public Diplomacy

Call to Bloggers

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In October of 2006, Amnesty International issued a call to bloggers as a request to involve said individuals and other popular internet writers, in the active protection of freedom of expression and privacy on the internet. Amnesty International has highlighted cases of “prisoners of conscience” who have been imprisoned or held for extended periods of time due to their peaceful political expressions on the internet by oppressive governments.

Amnesty International has led a very well reputed campaign to protect freedom of personal expression and personal privacy on the internet by creating and using is a website that informs individuals of the lengths to which some governments are going in order to suppress human rights and to censor commentary on the World Wide Web. In collaboration with other NGO’s and research institutions like ONI (Open Net Initiative), Amnesty International has been able to bring censorship to the foreground of Human Rights debates.

The site has a petition and pledge for those who visit and wish to participate in the protection of said freedoms. It reads as follows:

I believe the Internet should be a force for political freedom, not repression. People have the right to seek and receive information and to express their peaceful beliefs online without fear or interference.

I call on governments to stop the unwarranted restriction of freedom of expression on the Internet – and on companies to stop helping them do it. [1]

AI has gone to great lengths in order to ensure that government censorship of the internet is acknowledged and combated. They have not only criticized the Governments responsible, but also the Corporations who have made and are continuing to make censorship possible. Companies like Yahoo! Microsoft and Google have been at the forefront of this discussion based mainly on their collaboration with the Chinese government which has used information provided by these companies as a means for imprisonment.

Amnesty International took their online petition with over 60,000 signatures to the UN conference on Internet Governance Forum in November in order to bring the future of the Internet and internet freedoms to the foreground of the discussion.

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