A demonstration on behalf of the Palestinian people's plight.
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"Tone down on the religion and politics", I am warned by my family. "But my writing doesn't concern these topics", I protest. "Just write less about it", they continue. "Less than nothing?", I question. "Write about the weather", they suggest. Yet even the weather can be problematic to write about where I live.
As a blogger of a nation second to China for internet censorship, 'openness' is not something I can safely enjoy. The possible repercussions taint my every word.
Not only do I feel 'openness' is the most important to me when considering the future of the internet but I feel it is universally the more important of the four areas suggested. The internet without 'openness' or restrictions placed (certainly at state level) will surely hinder 'security' and 'diversity' as well as stifle 'access'.
Unlike the other options, 'openness', or freedom of expression, is a right recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and understood as important for human advancement. With freedom of expression and the tools provided through the internet we can increase the available information and thus perspective, while most likely increasing its quality.
Yet unlike alternative mediums, an 'open' internet offers the ability to act and organise, countering state-funded oppression and indoctrination. With 'openness' we are able to share methods, affording other citizens in other nations with the ability to increase important features of governance, like say accountability.
I'm puzzled that a nation recognising the UDHR is trading tools of oppression besides its sanctionsFrustratingly I see the opposite. The censorship system I experience is provided by America. I'm puzzled that a nation recognising the UDHR is trading tools of oppression besides its sanctions. If we are to be serious about curbing oppression then we must not undermine people's ability to release themselves from it.
The internet is an enlightening manifestation that shouldn’t have elements hidden. I feel that the rare appearance of freak activities in this collective consciousness is a small price to pay for the vast amount we gain. We must strive for universal 'openness' and protect it.
The question for the Viewers' Panel.
The Internet Governance Forum opens on 30 October in Athens. The future of the internet will be discussed by national governments, businesses, chairities, and individuals.
The forum has specified four key areas of dialogue -
Freedom of _expression and free flow of information, ideas and knowledge
Creating trust and confidence through collaboration
Promoting multilingualism and local content
Internet connectivity: Policy and cost
Which one of those four areas is the most important to you when considering the future of the net and why?