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Monday, 12 March 2018

World Day Against Cyber Censorship

Dearest hearts,

Today, and everyday if it were up to me, I'm doing a big shout out to free speech. Free speech (be it online or not) should be a freedom all people throughout the globe wpuld posess. I doubt though that any country has 100% Free speech. Today, 12th of March, we celebrate the World Day Against Cyber Censorship.  Usually it takes form as an online event held each year on this very day, to rally support for a single, unrestricted internet that is accessible to one and all. It also wants to draw attention to ways that governments around the world are deterring and censoring free speech online. The first time it was celebrated was on the 12th of March 2008 at the request of Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. 
In conjunction with World Day Against Cyber Censorship, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) updates it's "Enemies of the Internet" list (and "Countries under Surveillance"). This list started to be published by RWB in 2006. The countries on the list are the countries that "mark themselves out not just for their capacity to censor news and information online but also for their almost systematic repression of internet users". In 2007 the "Under Surveillance" list was also added. Some of the oldest countries on the "Current Enemies of the Internet" list are: Cuba, Iran, North Coreea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam - on the list since 2006 (when it was created) to the present day. Some of the "newer" ones include USA and UK since 2014 to the present day.
What boggles me is that one of the oldest enemy countries, Saudi Arabia, actually was open enough to other acts: in October 2017, the robot (social humanoid robot) Sophia became a Saudi Arabian citizen. The first robot to receive citizenship of any country! What surprises me even further is that Romania is not on the "Countries Under Surveillance" list - no newspaper or media channel broadcasts the real news and information about what is happening in the country. Oddly enough, Romania is listed by RWB as 42nd in its Worldwide Press Freedom I need from 2013. Freedom.House ranked it as "partially free" in 2014 but I think now it's completely under the claw of the leading party. For example, law week, everyday there were protests in the capital and the big cities in Romania. It had no coverage over the news and there was a request to block the related news from social media. Is it wrong to assume that leading parties just want to keep everyone disinformed? A dumb audience is way easier to rule...

P.S. Info taken from Wikipedia and Reporters Without Borders site.

Yours very much truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Freedom