Friday, 7 March 2008

Internet censorship

The Economist last week has another example of censorship on the web. This time for putting up a Facebook page about the Crown Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco. 27 year old Mr Mourtada from Casablanca was found guilty of identity theft and imprisoned for three years although by all accounts the Facebook page is fairly tame.

The French NGO, Reporters Sans Frontieres, highlights that there are now 63 cyber dissedents in prison worldwide for "using their right for free experession on the internet". The Group is calling for a day of action next Wednesday, 12th March against six countries which according to the NGO have the worst record against free speech online. These are: Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Erithrea, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Viêtnam.

I am personally interested in exploring the role of PR in defining the boundaries of organisations and of course countries. What is happening in the online environment is that the boundaries of organisations are getting blurred through increasingly networked and global relationships. This is challenging for both PR and for organisations and of course countries. Those which feel somewhat insecure are of course keen to highlight their boundaries or borders, even in the virtual environment, hence the consequences above. I will return to this subject later.

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