Feeds

Mozilla Foundation and EFF join hunt for Syrian open source developer

One of our developers is missing

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The open source community and human rights organizations have joined forces to find a software developer who has been missing for months following the recent civil unrest in Syria.

Bassel Khartabil, a 31-year-old computer engineer, was the project leader of Aiki Framework, an open source tool for building web applications. He also contributed to various community-based online projects, including Creative Commons, Fabricatorz, Mozilla Firefox, Open Clip Art Library, Sharism, and Wikipedia.

He was arrested on 15 March 2012 in the Mazzeh district of Damascus, Syria's capital city, during the mass demonstrations that swept the country. His family says they have neither seen nor heard from him since, but news has reached them that he may be held in a security facility in Damascus' Kafar Souseh district.

Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has issued a statement on behalf of the organization in support of the effort to free Khartabil, saying:

Bassel's expertise and focus across all aspects of his work has been in support of the development of publicly available, free, open source computer software code and technology. Through his efforts, the quality and availability of freely available and open technology is improved and technology is advanced.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also lent its support to the campaign, calling Khartabil's detainment "especially alarming" in light of a recent Human Rights Watch report documenting the use of torture in Syrian security facilities.

"EFF joins Bassel’s friends, family, and colleagues in calling for his release and condemns the Syrian government, which has held him for almost four months without charges or a trial," the organization said in a blog post.

Khartabil's supporters have launched an online petition, addressed to the Syrian government, urging his release. More than 1,000 supporters have signed the letter so far. In addition, the campaign encourages supporters to use the #freebassel hashtag on Twitter to raise awareness of the matter. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.