Guest post from Joana Varon Ferraz
The internet has enabled bloggers, activists and even regular citizens to become a credible alternative source of news. These netizens are using a variety of tools and services to report different and more diverse perspectives to events than might be found in the traditional media - whether because of lack of resources, political influence, or interference from media owners.
At the same time as the internet is becoming central to how societies communicate, it’s also becoming central to national infrastructure and economics – which leads governments and other authorities to seek to regulate and control it. Increased online surveillance and censorship are signs of a growing tendency that presents serious threats to human rights. Undermining digital freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the principle of net neutrality and other key building-blocks of internet freedom threatens the vibrant and diverse online news landscape that has made the internet such an exciting space.
This short film – Netizens vs Online Censorship – tries to shed light on this conflict through a series of interviews with bloggers, activists and academics – including Amira Al-Hussaini of Global Voices, Matisse Bustos Hawkes of WITNESS, and Rebecca Mackinnon.
The film is part of “freenet?”, a collaborative documentary about the future of freedom on the internet, and the interviews were filmed at two major events about digital media in 2012: the Global Voices Summit and the Mapping Digital Media Project‘s Istanbul Summit. To learn more and to get involved, follow freenet? online, at Facebook, and on Twitter.