Amnesty fights to end internet censorship

Amnesty has launched a campaign to put an end to state censorship and control of online communications demanding freedom of expression over the Internet in its place.

The campaign found at irrepressible.info, calls for governments to stop censoring websites, blocking emails and shutting down weblogs.

"The web is a great tool for sharing ideas and freedom of expression. However, efforts to try and control the Internet are growing. Internet repression is reported in countries like China, Vietnam, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. People are persecuted and imprisoned simply for criticising their government, calling for democracy and greater press freedom or exposing human rights abuses, online", the organisation said in a statement on its website.

However, the move has already caused controversy with companies like Google, who say its approach of engaging countries like China with some form of search engine is better than not engaging them at all.

The site is hoping that people will agree to sign up and pledge to the following statement:

"I believe the Internet should be a force for political freedom, not repression.
People have the right to seek and receive information and to express their peaceful beliefs online without fear or interference. I call on governments to stop the unwarranted restriction of freedom of expression on the Internet - and on companies to stop helping them do it."

Amnesty is then hoping to use pledges to "call on governments to release the cyber-dissidents imprisoned for sending emails and posting their views on websites. We’ll take them to the UN when it meets in November to discuss the future of the internet. And we’ll use them to show companies that internet users – their customers – will not stand for an internet that for some is massively restricted".

Readers can plege at the Amnesty's dedicated campaign site irrepressible.info where so far 10033 people have already signed up (at the time of writing)