Saturday, January 07, 2006

Safety Guide for Bloggers, Stay Out of Jail

Spirit of America Releases Anonymous Blogging Guides in English, Arabic, Chinese and Persian

Spirit of America has launched the BlogSafer wiki, available at BlogSafer contains a series of guides on how to blog under difficult conditions in countries that discourage free speech.

LOS ANGELES, California - January 7, 2006 – Spirit of America’s BlogSafer wiki hosts a series of targeted guides to anonymous blogging, each of which outline steps a blogger in a repressive regime can take, and tools to use, to avoid identification and arrest. These range from common sense actions such as not providing identifying details on a blog to the technical, such as the use of proxy servers.

“A repressive regime trying to still free speech first goes after and shuts down independent print and broadcast media,” said Curt Hopkins, project director of Spirit of America’s Anonymous Blogging Campaign. “Once that is done, it turns its attentions to online news sites. As these outlets disappear, dissent migrates to blogs, which are increasing geometrically in number and are simple to set up and operate.”

In past several years at least 30 people have been arrested, many of whom have been tortured, for criticizing their governments. This trend is likely to increase in the coming year.

The five guides that are currently on the wiki serve bloggers in the following countries:
  • Iran (in Persian)
  • China (Chinese)
  • Saudi Arabia (in Arabic—also useful for other Arabic-speaking regimes such as Bahrain, Egypt,
  • Syria and Tunisia)
  • Malaysia (in English—also applicable to neighboring Indonesia and Singapore)
  • Zimbabwe (in English—applicable to English-speaking Africans as well as aid workers)
  • These countries were chosen because they are representative of the kinds of repressive tactics that have been used in the past several years against bloggers. These include filtering, interrogation, torture and imprisonment.

    The guides are a synthesis of all currently available information on the subject of anonymization. They have been edited for non-technical readers, translated into the languages of the target areas and posted on the wiki. Bloggers can use the wiki format to expand, edit and change the current guides to reflect a closer knowledge of the changing situation in their countries. Others may use the guides, and the other resources provided, to translate the guides into other languages or create new guides specific to their countries’ situations.

    The wiki will provide a work and communications space for those bloggers around the world seeking to speak the truth as they see it and those in freer countries who wish to support their fellows bloggers.

    Spirit of America's mission is to extend the goodwill of the American people to assist those advancing freedom, democracy and peace abroad. We provide support to those on the front lines: American military and civilian personnel and people who call to Americans for help in their struggle for freedom and democracy.

    Spirit of America is a 501c3 nonprofit supported solely through private-sector contributions. We do not receive funding from the government or military. 100% of your tax-deductible donation is used for the purpose you choose. For more information and to support Spirit of America and this and other projects, visit the web site at

    Technorati Tags: , ,