Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

Archive for the ‘Threatened bloggers’ Category

Free Burma

In Burma, Censorship, Free Burma, Free speech, Threatened bloggers on October 4, 2007 at 5:20 pm

Free Burma

Need a Free Nonprofit Blog Host

In Blogging, Committee to Protect Bloggers, Free speech, Human rights, Threatened bloggers on August 22, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Because I is a idiot, I was considering reawakening the beast that is, or rather was, the Committee to Protect Bloggers. To do this, I need a free blog host. OK, they’re common enough. But since my techno-eyes are always bigger than my techno-stomach, I need a host that would also be available for constant bugging. Civiblog hosted us last time, and they are great. But since it’s student-run and volunteer, I was rarely able to get my questions answered in any kind of a timely fashion.

Do you know of such an outfit that would fit my demanding bill? If not, do you know of someone who would be dumb enough to set up say a WP blog on their own server and then be a techno-Lovejoy to my techno-Flanders? If so, leave a comment or email me at curthopkins/at/ or committeetoprotectbloggers/at/

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BlogSafer Has a WalkieTalkie

In Blogsafer, Threatened bloggers on April 12, 2007 at 12:25 am

I added a YackPack WalkieTalkie widget to, the anonymous blogging wiki. With PBwiki you can drop it in as a plugin. Now, if you visit the site, you can talk with one another.

I also put one in this blog’s sidebar.

Update: I figured out how to put one on our co-located Chinese anonymous blogging guide, chnblggr.

(Full disclosure: I’m currently working for PBwiki.)

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Josh Wolf to Be Released from Prison

In Threatened bloggers on April 3, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Josh Wolf, the SF-based video journalist who was stuck in federal prison when he wouldn’t hand over his video from a San Francisco protest at which a police car was damaged and an officer hurt, is being released, according to the Chronicle via Poynter and Eat the Press.

According to the Chronicle, Wolf agreed to give up the video if the prosecutors would agree not to ask him to ID any of the protesters and would not call him to testify. In the same article, one of his lawyers said the deal finally agreed upon was something Wolf had told prosecutors he’d do back in November.

From the Chronicle article:

Wolf posted the uncut video on his Web site, gave prosecutors a copy and denied under oath that he knew anything about violent incidents at the July 2005 protest. In return, his lawyers said, prosecutors agreed not to summon him before the grand jury or ask him to identify any of the protesters shown on his video.

Wolf, whom I met in San Francisco during filming for an HBO show that never materialized, said at a news conference in front of the Federal Correction Institution in Dublin (East Bay), where he’d been confined in for seven and a half months, that his experienced proved the need for a national press shield law. I agree with him whole-heartedly. He was charged with contempt in federal court because he was immune under California’s shield law.

In addition to the video, prosecutors required that Wolf answer two questions under oath, in writing: whether he ever saw anyone throw or shoot any object at a police car or learned about anyone who did so, and whether he knew whom Officer Peter Shields was trying to arrest when he was hit from behind and suffered a fractured skull. Wolf answered no to both questions in a court filing today before his release.

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Silence for Kathy

In Threatened bloggers on March 27, 2007 at 4:01 pm

I found out from Shel that blogger Kathy Sierra has been the victim of threats, violent and sexual, from both anonymous trolls and not so anonymous ones. Inspired by Scoble’s actions, I’m choosing not to blog for a week, leaving this post at the top during that time. Distance allows cretins to feel like big men. It’s up to us to disallow this kind of behavior. We vote with our voices and our comments.

I’m encouraging anyone who follows suit to tag their post silenceforkathy.

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Ton of Bricks vs. Bloggers

In China, Committee to Protect Bloggers, Egypt, Free speech, Human rights, Jailed bloggers, Journalism, Threatened bloggers, Yahoo on March 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Two awful stories prove that things are still bad for bloggers in oppressive countries. First, Yahoo. (And really, how could it not start with Yahoo?)

Speaking with VOA’s Mandarin Service Wednesday after arriving in Washington, Yu Ling said Chinese police arrested her husband, Wang Xiaoning, partly because Yahoo’s Hong Kong office gave Chinese authorities information about his e-mail accounts. (Voice of America, via Valleywag)

To my knowledge, Wang is not a blogger. But Yahoo is the same company that rushed to the “aid” of the Chinese government to secure a long prison term for another journalist, Shi Tao, who was a blogger.

Second, here’s an email I got from Amr Gharbeia in Egypt, in its entirety.


I am getting confirmations that there is a lawsuit against the government to block twenty-one websites and blogs, including my own.

The lawsuit is started by Abdelfattah Mourad, one of Egypt’s most senior judges–and head of the Alexandria Appeal Court, where imprisoned blogger AbdolKareem Nabil Soliman’s case is heard next week. The judge is a self-claimed authority in internet issues. I was excited by the fact that he started a blog a while ago, and wrote him asking if he would mind me writing a review for a book he published recently on “the scientific and legal foundations of blogs”. He did not mind, until I published the thing. He obviously has copied tens of pages from the recent report by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information on Internet freedoms in the Arab world. I noticed this only because some of the figures and estimations were taken from an interview with me. He did this without citation, except for one link to Initiative for an Open Arab Internet in the endnotes, while putting footnotes to other books he wrote on text that he has not written.

Three things prove it is not a mistake: 1) he copied at least two other bloggers with no referencing at all; 2) he changed parts in the text copied from the report to mean the opposite, for example to indicate that Tunisia is a nice, liberal and progressive country; and 3) he published at the front and back pages of his book several warnings against plagiarism, and referred to laws, religions and scientific research methods. He does not allow anyone to cite anything more than two lines from his writings, and in the book he warns against bloggers who violate copyrights, associates them with international terrorism and other things, and claims he has written a reference on
scientific methodology. To top it all, he annexes ready-to-fill complaint forms against bloggers who publish pornography (fitting someone’s head over a naked body, an imaginary case with no history in Egypt’s blogs) and publicizing news that could tarnish the country’s reputation.

I do not really care much for copy rights, and think they are over-rated and keep knowledge, medicine, and soon genetically-engineered food from the world’s poorest, and I would not have written anything if this was another blogger, or a journalist, or even a university professor. What worries me, however, is that this is a judge whose ruling cannot be appealed. He can silence, imprison or execute people, and he oversees our elections.

Once the blogs are found offensive by the court, then in light of the Egyptian’s regime reputation, it is automatic to prosecute the bloggers. This is an early warning. We are still gathering information, and HRInfo should be making a release and starting procedure Saturday next. Hossam elHamalawy is posting in English. Follow him for updates.


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Kareem Sentenced to Four Years in Egyptian Prison

In Egypt, Free speech, Jailed bloggers, Threatened bloggers on February 22, 2007 at 5:11 pm

Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman has been sentenced to four years in an Egyptian prison, three for “insulting Islam” and one for insulting Mubarak. Hey, remember when “Egypt” used to be synonymous with “civilization”? Yeah, me neither.

Committee to Protect Bloggers supported Kareem when he was first imprisoned, then freed by the Egyptian authorities, even creating a petition for his release. This is disappointing but not unexpected.

The folks at Free Kareem! are doing all that and more. Support them, free speech and Kareem. Do I really need to say “regardless of whether you agree with him”?

And for those in a similar situation, check out BlogSafer, our anonymous blogging wiki.

Update: If you’re a human trashcan who wants to register your pornographic desire for religious violence on my blog, I’m all for it. Nothing like the marketplace of ideas to show a fool for what he is. But you’ll need to find the guts to do it under your own name. Anybody so chickenshit as to comment anonymously will not be allowed to do so. Naturally, that will pretty much eliminate that species of comment. A “person” of that type is only “brave,” after all, when in the midst of a mob of rats from which he can borrow what passes for courage.

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Blog Marketing Volunteer Needed for BlogSafer Project

In Blogsafer, Threatened bloggers on November 30, 2006 at 5:45 pm

Last year, I created BlogSafer under the auspices of the nonprofit organization Spirit of America. It’s a wiki with multiple anoniblog/safer blogging guides on it. There was no funding to really flog it like it needed once it was built, but with some effort (social bookmarking, manic pinging) I tripled the readership (a whole 30 per day). The readership is spread around the targeted areas, with an emphasis on Iran and Arabic-speaking countries. PBwiki, who hosts it, has been blocked in China, so I copied over the China guide to Wikispaces and Chinese readers are starting to show up there.



At any rate, what the project needs is a volunteer who can spend a couple of hours a week really marketing the hell out of it. Posting, commenting, dropping notes on forums, anything you can think of to build awareness especially in the target countries, of the guides as a resource. It doesn’t pay anything but it has a pretty high sweat-to-righteousness ratio.Ideally the person involved would be interested in international free speech issues, dig wikis and have either a technically-adept mind, marketing experience online or both. If you’re interested, email me at committeetoprotectbloggers at gmail dot com. If you are not interested but know someone who may be, please pass this post along and/or post about it yourself.

When the Committee to Protect Bloggers is rehosted with Ammar’s Tharwa Project, we’ll have more of a permanent home for this project, but even then we’d be happy to have that person continue in their role for as long as they’d like.

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Free Abdolkarim

In Threatened bloggers on November 23, 2006 at 6:39 pm

Please sign the Hamsa petition to free Egyptian blogger Abdolkarim Soliman.

Here is information from Big Pharaoh on Abdolkarim’s first arrest. And here’s information from Sandmonkey on the latest. Here’s the Free Kareem site.

Considering the tagging and search engine issues surrounding any campaign like this, someone may want to standardize the spelling of any imprisoned blogger’s name, both in its original language and alphabet and in English and the Latin alphabet.

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Chinese Anonymous Blogging Guide

In Blogsafer, Threatened bloggers on November 16, 2006 at 12:23 am

Some time ago I watched China fall off our stats as a country of origin for visitors to BlogSafer (aka anoniblog), our anonymous blogging wiki (with guides in English, Arabic, Persian and Chinese). It turns out that the wiki host we use, PBwiki, has been blocked in China. So, I recently reposted the Chinese guide to Wikispaces. The people from that host said they believed that they were not blocked.

So, please check out chnblggr, our Chinese anonymous blogging guide. If you’re in China, please let me know if it’s visible. Email me at committteetoprotectbloggers at gmail dot com. And spread the word to any Chinese bloggers you know.

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