Amnesty calls for internet rights for all
Gov action required
Amnesty International is repeating its call for companies and governments to take action to protect human rights online.
Ahead of this week's Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio de Janiero, the pressure group said restrictions on freedom of expression are increasing around the world.
It is calling for governments to stop prosecuting people for speaking out online and to release prisoners locked up for expressing political opinions on the web. It wants a collective commitment to online freedom of expression.
The group is calling for technology companies to act in support of this freedom and not work with repressive governments to help human rights abuses.
Nick Dearden, one of Amnesty's delegates to IGF in Rio, said: "In the 12 months since the last IGF we've witnessed the crisis in Burma, where the internet was used to get images and information out of the country and to mobilise people all over the world to take action. On the other hand we have also monitored the increase in censorship, filtering, and blocking of websites."
Amnesty said China is holding about 60 people in prison for online dissent. Eight people have been imprisoned in Syria after using the internet to call for political reforms. Arrests have also been reported in Thailand and Vietnam.
Last year, Amnesty put pressure on technology companies to make a public commitment to freedom online.
It asked companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! to be transparent about how they censor or restrict access to information online and to use the courts to fight requests for information on individuals.
More from Amnesty here. ®
"Whilst the noble aims of AI cannot be denied, have they ever actually succeeded in convincing a government to alter its policies ?"
Yes. Their research is frequently mentioned both in the EU and UN (and I'm sure many other international bodies) and they are often cited in discussions relating to human rights. They certainly played a part in making Europe free from the Death Penalty, for example
I agree with amanfromMars
I don't think he is from Mars, and "he" is probably not strictly a "Man", but whatever. Fundamentally, I believe that the issue here is not one of technology, but our willingness to use it for revolutionary ends. Let me give you an example.
Napster was created/became popular in the late-90's when the internet was still young, and people didn't really know what to do with it. It turns out, people pretty much wanted free music/porn/warez. Fine. Napster delivered. Bad: the principles behind Napster were labelled criminals, and they were shut down, and many people cried. What happened next was amazing: people suddenly felt entitled to stop buying music. People all over the earth, for no reason whatsoever decided, "sod this, I'm not going to take it anymore" and just plain stopped paying for music. Gnutella, and eventually Bit-Torrent replaced the old Napster network, but if it were not for Napster, these protocols would not have even been developed.
The same can be said for the internet in general: if some brave someone takes that first step and says, "You know what? I'm going to create a protocol/system/node/whatever so amazing, that people all over the world will want to use it, and it'll be free, in the truest sense of the world, and it cannot be censored". Gee...do you really think some puny government is going to be able to stop her/him/it? I am assuming the presence of "dolphins with hands" doing some of this work, here people. Bear with me.
We've already got TCP/IP. Governments are unwilling/unable to stop that protocol from crossing borders. We just need something that rides on top of that, which looks like legitimate http traffic, or whatever, that contains a secret payload -- "subversive" messages. Actually, people's free thoughts, but whatever.
Oh, and how can I agree with amanfromMars and not even know what "he" is saying, nor do I believe that he is a human entity, nor does it matter? I think of him as a Cthuloid, but more of a ptaav, in essence. A sad "person" who is able to grasp quantum mechanical concepts intuitively, but is stuck using keyboard and mouse to do actual communication with English-(roughly)-speaking humans. Sorry to out you man.
You were always the smart one of the family, learning primitive "languages" while the rest of us were happy using telepathy. Go ahead, attempt to speak with these humans. They are an amusing lot. I'm going back to play with Schroedinger's cat, now. Dead or alive, it makes no difference to me. The play's the thing.
Thanks ..but no thanks.
Thanks for that insight into your own head, AC. You've still got a long way to go to vanquish that negative attitude before you can even begin to comprehend the bigger picture being built here on El Reg.
Who do you think controls governments? From your second paragraph it would appear to be IT Boffins with Search Engines and Internet Browsers .....Virtual Machines. Good Plan .... they certainly can do with the help but they're there to Serve the People not to Lead them. It is surely arrogant of them to think themselves equipped otherwise.
Indeed, the hash they make of things is testament to the ignorant folly.
Hell....3rd rate pseudo-gonzo wannabes needing some basic grammar and spell-checking abound everywhere, they aint hard to find ....They offer peace and democracy which is used to sneak in conspiratorial capitalism and march to war with bombs and bullets to deliver it with Shock and Awe. With those sort of friends you harbour an bitter two-faced enemy.
Man speak with forked tongue, Kemo Sabe.