Maintaining the Internet freedom

Publicado 1 de mayo de 2012 Avatar

Se registró el día 8 de abril de 2012
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Every day, I try to log into Facebook in the normal way. Every day, the result is the same: 'This page cannot be displayed'. Why? It's simple: Facebook, among a list of other websites, has been blocked for containing 'harmful' information.

I must clarify what is considered the 'list of harmful websites' here. Those websites are mainly blogs and a social network page, and those oversea websites which run some information and opinions against the government. For some sensitive reasons, they are considered capable of igniting opposition movement, and so need to be blocked.

I will not talk about the political aspect here, since such a matter is so complicated. However, what I want to emphasize is the violation of Internet freedom. The Internet is created so that everyone can have a voice, can reflect what he or she wants. The right to express opinions is undeniable, and should be maintained. The opinions are from the authors, and anyone can have a right to believe or not believe in that information. So why should these websites be blocked?

In addition, I should say something about the technical aspect. Although the states may try to blcok these websites, Internet users can get through the firewall quickly and easily. Changing the DNS, using proxy servers,... there are numerous methods of maintaining access to the blocked websites. Therefore, the act of blocking websites can be considered useless. In Vietnam, my country, though Facebook is blcoked, it is still the most widely used social network nationwide. And most blocked blogs are in the list of most visited websites in Vietnam.

Normally, the more websites are blocked, the harder the effort people will put to see them. Instead of keeping information away from the public, let the people see them. Users are wise enough to judge what is right, what is wrong; they should also be given a place to release what's in their minds, too. The Arab Spring movement is a clear illustration of the power of the Internet, so governments should take advantage instead of be afraid of the Internet.

Right now, I can access Facebook freely without any circumvention method. However, this will be temporary, as it has happened again and again for over one year so far. Just give us a chance to make our voices heard!




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