Cyber dissident

Cyber dissidents are citizen journalists or bloggers who are often imprisoned for their political views in states that actively practice censorship.

 

Emergence

With the proliferation of blogging software and other web publishing tools in the early part of the 21st century, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of citizen journalism. Although cyberdissidence bears some resemblance to the hacktivism of the 80's and 90's, its primary aim is to disseminate information and alternative viewpoints in states that censor.

 

Impact

 

 

Complicity of transnational corporations

Google and Yahoo have both been criticized for their collaboration with government authorities, particularly in China and Vietnam (although also in the UK, France, Germany, US, Canada and Australia). The complicity of Google in maintaining the Great Firewall of China forces users to use blogging and social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to publish non-censored information, thus making it easier for them to be identified. In 2005, Shi Tao was arrested after using his Yahoo account to e-mail a state media censorship directive to an overseas pro-democracy group.

 

Notable individuals

Kareem Amer

Egyptian human rights blogger imprisoned for inciting sedition and insulting President Hosni Mubarak.

Dieu Cay

Vietnamese human rights blogger who was arrested on charges of 'tax fraud'.

Shi Tao

Chinese blogger who was arrested with the help of Yahoo Inc. for publishing information about state media censorship of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square.

Arash Sigarchi

Iranian blogger imprisoned for 'insulting' leaders of the Islamic Republic.

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