Global Voices Summit: Toward a Global Anti-Censorship Network

The first panel of the summit included presentations by activists in Belarus, Japan, Egypt and Pakistan.

Some of the main points I took away from the panel discussion:

  • Censorship is not good for business;
  • The key in anti-censorship tools is simplicity, ease of use;
  • Blogs not frequently blocked in Egypt, but torture used to induce self-censorship;
  • The stakes for governments are too high to allow for a free Internet in Egypt;
  • Digital activism cannot be separated from the main struggle for democracy;
  • Are bloggers above the law? Should we always support them?
  • Mobile phone content (lifestyle, religion, political issues) is already being filtered in Japan;
  • Bill passed into law in Japan to oblige pre-installaltion national standard-based filtering software;
  • Companies in Japan pushing against censorship since some games being blocked;
  • Some argue Japan will be left behind if censorship spreads;
  • Japanese not concerned about government, but rather other citizens who engage in troubling activities on the net;
  • is a site that allows you to access blogs on blogspot if they are blocked by India, Pakistan, Iran and China;
  • is a local alternative to YouTube in Pakistan;
  • SMS activism and Twitter used in Pakistan; but what they really needed was an SMS forwarding and broadcasting service;
  • In Pakistan, Blog via Frontline SMS, but Frontline was complicated to set up; international SMS migth be more expensive but would be easier;
  • is an event based live SMS / Email blogging site;
  • In Pakistan, to really reach the people one must tap mobile content and SMS.

Patrick Philippe Meier

One response to “Global Voices Summit: Toward a Global Anti-Censorship Network

  1. Hi all

    I just thought you’d like to know that we’ve just released (last week, in fact) the new version of FrontlineSMS, which gets around many of the issues of the first version. The new release supports a much wider range of phones than the first (which was very limited) and automatically configures the handset for you.

    We’re already starting to get some very interesting use studies from it.

    If any activists or users are interested in trying it out, feel free to complete the form on the website.

    Thanks, and best of luck out there.


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