C’est Treize Sérieux

Our legions (French foreign legions?) of francophone readers will recognize the above title as a jolly clever pun on Reporters Sans Frontieres’ “liste des 13 ennemis d’Internet” – “list of 13 enemies of the internet.” The fine froggy press freedom advocacy org is running a campaign for internet freedom in which they identify the “black holes” on the world wide web (that’s what “trous noirs” means), comprising the aforementioned 13 “ennemis”:

Saudi Arabia

Belarus

Burma

China

North Korea

Cuba

Egypt

Iran

Uzbekistan

Syria

Tunisia

Turkmenistan

Vietnam

In keeping with the rather puzzling French habit of refusing to recognize English as the new lingua franca, the campaign seems to be entirely in French, unless I’m so stupide that I couldn’t find the English version. If you go to the campaign’s website you can click on one of the black holes to “roll back” censorship, registering a “vote” by doing so. What this vote means precisely is a little unclear but I think it’s a kind of “whole world is watching” (or clicking) idea. You can also record a message for Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang telling him what a bad man he is for caving to Chinese internet restrictions. The cheeky beggars at RSF even projected their map of black holes onto several Parisian monuments during the night, including the French headquarters of Yahoo!. They will be meeting with Yahoo! executives next week to hand them the condemnations recorded during their “cyber-demo.”

Nearly 25,000 people have gone to the map and registered their protest against internet repression. We at small-d suggest you do the same. After all no-one in Burma or Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the world for that matter, should be denied the right to access this.

Haw Haw Haw!

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