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to blog or not to blog… May 26, 2007

Posted by alimassoudi in Uncategorized.
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 Freedom of speech is supposedly the foundation of a functioning democracy.  Most of us here in Canada enjoy our freedom and exercise it on a regular basis. Do we take it for granted? Perhaps. Is it human nature to overlook what we are blessed with until we experience something worse? What if your government were to block your access to the outside world limiting your access to information and suppressing your right to speech? How would you react?

Blogs are on the rise, there is no doubt. In fact Dave Sifry in his State of the Blogsphere for 2006 noted thatAs of October 2006, about 100,000 new web-logs were created each day, and that Technoratiwas tracking about 57 million blogs!

But consider for a moment a country such as Iran. The government has declared a war on dissidents and their blogs. They have imprisoned and tortured bloggers who have been accused of espionage or insulting Islamic leaders.  Lillian Swift, declares in her article, that in 2005 over 100,000 Iranian blogs were active, she goes on to say that Farsi ties with French as the second most common blogging language after English. Imagine, the passion involved in writing a blog under those circumstances, the responsibility one takes in order to share one’s opinion with the rest of the world.

 Iran has adopted one of the world’s most intensive Internet censorship regimes. Of course the software that the country uses to implement its filtering was developed by a for-profit US company (SmartFilter by Secure Computing) as outlined in the OpenNet Initiative. Is the US company complicit in Iranian breaches of the Declaration of Human Rights simply by selling said software to non-democratic countries?

All to say that we have it pretty good here in Canada, it’s like a client of mine said to me once, “I’d rather be complaining about potholes than civil unrest!”. But let’s not forget that we are still a part of the global community- let’s take a moment to reflect as opposed to ignoring it as though it’s “their” problem. 

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Comments»

1. Bahram Massoudi - May 27, 2007

Is “No Comment” a meaningful comment from someone living in Iran in response to your opinion?

Let me make it clearer; to blog or not to blog has become synonymous with to be or not to be.

You are either with us or against us; who said that? George Bush? Or was it Ahmadinejad? You asked: “Is the US Company complicit in Iranian breaches of the Declaration of Human Rights simply by selling said software to non-democratic countries?” I ask: who is responsible for the rise of fundamentalism in the world?

All of this to say that we need to do something serious about our potholes! THEY ARE GETTING DANGEROSLY BIG.

2. Ali - May 27, 2007

Well said, indeed. I am fortunate to have someone living in Iran comment on this blog entry. It certainly helps put things into perspective!


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