WORLD DAY AGAINST CYBER CENSORSHIP
Every year on March 12th, World Day Against Cyber Censorship rallies support for an unrestricted Internet that is accessible to all. The day also draws attention to ways governments around the world censor free speech online.
The Internet lets people around the world gain access to vast amounts of information. Not only can people get information on nearly any topic imaginable, but they can get it quickly, and usually for little cost. Most people who have access to the internet take it for granted. They might also take for granted the idea of sharing things with others over the worldwide web. Unfortunately, however, there are people in the world who want to restrict the internet. These people don’t want people to use their freedom of speech over the worldwide web.
Each year, this issue is becoming more of a problem. Just recently, Reporters Without Borders unveiled several digital predators of freedom. According to Reporters Without Borders, these digital predators represent a clear danger for freedom of opinion and expression, and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees this right. Digital predators harass people online, censor information, spread disinformation, and use the internet to spy.
Some of these digital predators include:
- Modi’s Yoddhas in India
- The Kremlin’s troll army in Russia
- The Iranian Cyberspace Supreme Council
- National Telecommunications Commission in Venezuela
- Cyber Jihadist Unit in Sudan
- Zerodium in the United States
When it comes to controlling the internet, some of the worst countries include China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Vietnam. Other countries are under surveillance for restricting the internet. These countries include Egypt, France, India, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldDayAgainstCyberCensorship
On this day, Reporters Without Borders awards the Netizen Prize. This award goes to an internet user that has made a notable contribution to defend online freedom of expression. Reporters Without Borders also updates its annual list, “Enemies of the Internet and Countries Under Surveillance.”
- Think about the importance of having access to an unrestricted Internet.
- Discuss with others why some countries, governments, and organizations try to control the internet.
- Watch the documentary, The Cleaners that explores censorship of the internet.
Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldDayAgainstCyberCensorship
WORLD DAY AGAINST CYBER CENSORSHIP HISTORY
Reporters Without Borders launched the first World Day Against Cyber Censorship on March 12th, 2008. The day is sometimes referred to as International Day for Online Freedom of Expression.