A new anti-censorship website is set to launch in October, founded by the press freedom lobbyist organisation, Reporters Without Borders.
Known as WeFightCensorship.com, the site will offer a place where banned or censored files, images and materials can be posted without fear of identification or backlash from oppressive government regimes. This is a similar setup to the one seen with sites like Wikileaks and Cryptome, where users are encouraged to submit revealing information about government officials and organisations.
Currently WeFightCensorship is only showing a static page featuring a prison cell door and a keyhole logo. The tagline is “Let’s shelter the news,” with the creators suggesting that the site would act like a: “virtual shelter,” for sensitive information that the public deserves to see.
Those visiting the site can sign up for updates and early access, with “Round One” said to be starting in “Oct.2012.”
Speaking about the impending launch was Pirate Party UK international affairs spokesperson Ed Geraghty: ”We welcome the news, it’s just a shame that this sort of thing is still needed,” he said.
“Even in western democracies we’re seeing a slide towards censorship; whether it’s “morality filters” being applied to our internet connections, newspapers scared of publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, increasingly fatuous super-injunctions or the embarrassment that was the Twitter Joke Trial.”
The Twitter joke trial was a wake up call for many UK citizens who then realised that their online communications carried far more weight than had been previously attributed to them. When a mere joke about blowing up an airport can lead to months of legal wrangling, it became obvious that freedom of speech was beginning to be eroded online, even in “western democracies” like the UK.
Reporters with Borders also recently announced its pleasure at the release of reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson, both of whom spent more than an Ethiopian prison on charges of supporting terrorism, after they were found to have illegally entered the southest Ethiopian region of Ogaden, to cover human rights violations being perpetrated there.