Don’t Block the Blog

Speaking up Against Internet Censorship, the world over

February 14, 2007

News and Competition for Pakistani Bloggers

After the release of the last Don’t Block The Blog (DBTB) Press Alert, I’ve been in discussion with several Pakistan based bloggers regarding the problems they are facing accessing specific blogging platforms and blogs in general. While Teeth Maestro expertly continues to source technical solutions to the problem, I’ve been updating with various international (free speech) organizations regarding the blogging problem in Pakistan. The most prominent of these Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), also known as Reporters Without Borders, has been fighting for the protection of journalists and free speech in general for the past 22 years. RSF strongly supports and continues to fight for the rights of all international bloggers.

I have been fortunate enough to be in communication with RSF from the start of DBTB. In my recent discussion with Mr. Julien Pain (Head of the Internet Freedom Desk at RSF), we were both in agreement that the blanket ban was not just an a strong interference for Pakistani bloggers but may actually turn into a deterrence where some bloggers might just get fed up with the problems with the accessing their blogs and give up blogging altogether. We cannot allow this to happen. With that concern in mind I have a small reminder for blogspot domain bloggers to please source alternate solutions for hosting your blog. Launch a new blog on typepad, wordpress or livejournal, until such time when a concrete solution is provided to you for accessing your blogspot blog so you can permanently transfer all your old posts to your new blog. The point is to continue blogging and invite others to blog. I realize that there are no guarantees with either of these other blog solutions but it is most likely to be better than blogspot.

To additionally encourage Pakistani bloggers to exercise the right to free speech, DBTB would like to announce a small writing competition which for Pakistan based bloggers. RSF which provides a paid solution for prominent political and social bloggers to host their blogs at the RSF blogging platform, has decided to award a free blog, on my behest, to the winner of this competition. The topic for the writing competition will obviously will have to do with free speech. The formal announcement and rules of the competition will soon be highlighted on DBTB blog, Bloggers.Pakistan, and the respective blogs of the DBTB team members.

What is the advantage of (winning and) owning a blog at rsf.org?

– Your blog will be associated with an NGO that defends press freedom and the rights of bloggers and journalists.
– Your address will be myblog.rsfblog.org
– You can contact others in the rsfblog community, people who know about and are interested in what’s happening on the other side of the world and care about human rights
– What you post may be picked up on the front page of “Looking at the world through Blogs,” a website that reviews what bloggers everywhere are doing.
– Your details will remain totally confidential. Unlike hosts such as Yahoo! or Google, who in the past have worked with authorities in repressive countries by providing private information.
– This blog is the least likely to cause you problems as it is a paid service platform and should provide you the requisite support technically and in support of your free speech.
– It is just one of the ‘coolest’ blog addresses to have on the internet!

That’s all for now but I hope to bring you more DBTB updates and hopefully some concrete solutions to the Pakistan blogging ban issue.

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  1. Feb 25, 2007: Indopak blogs source » Blog Archive » News and Competition for Pakistani Bloggers

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