As the U.N. pressures the Egyptian government to release jailed bloggers and journalists, and Bangladeshi blogger Tasneem Khalil is released after less than 24 hours in jail, freedom of citizen media seems to be taking the front page.

Belarus, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, China, Singapore, and Libya have all detained bloggers or other Internet personalities thus far.  Although Morocco has not, freedom as it pertains to the Internet has a long way to go.

In December of 2006, two journalists were arrested for analyzing jokes made on the Moroccan street in Nichane, Morocco's only magazine written in dialect.  Reporters Without Borders called the actions "insane and archaic," a sentiment which was echoed throughout the Moroccan blogosphere.

And yet few have even mentioned the fact that Morocco censors the Internet.  Unlike China's extreme censorship, Morocco has only banned a few sites, mostly related to the Western Sahara.  Additionally, Livejournal has been banned for a little over a year, and Google Earth is only sporadically accessible, allegedly because its close shots offer views of the Moroccan royal family's many palaces.

Reporters Without Borders has offered help; the 2005 publication of "The Handbook for Bloggers and Cyberdissidents" (available for free online) teaches Internet users how to sidestep government censorship by the use of proxies and other innovations.

But beyond that, I say it's time we take a stand against Internet censorship!  Who's with me? 

 

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