Our world is very technologically advanced for its time. Mobile Technologies like 4G and 3G is what keeps most of us mobile users connected to the internet. For the heavy data users and commercial establishments they use the old school Ethernet cable or WiFi with a connection made possible using optical fibre technology.
So when you buy bundles or pay for your monthly internet subscription, do you ever think of Internet freedoms. We all have our rights enshrined in the constitution like right to freedom of expression and information, your right to freedom of assembly and association, your right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Every internet user of sane mind is accountable for what he/she writes or uploads to the internet.
Activists usually find themselves in trouble with the government most of the times. In Bangladesh for example bloggers usually get killed by extremists for their views. In Kenya that level of intolerance is unheard of but is not far if the Government and individuals continue to hinder internet freedoms.
An unacceptable attack on freedom of expression
The demand to revoke their Bangladeshi citizenship doesn’t make sense in all the cases, as some of those mentioned don’t have it.
But the menacing language is deeply troubling in a year in which at least four bloggers have been hacked to death in Bangladesh after posting articles critical of Islam online.
“This international threat to writers and bloggers is an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression,” said Thomas Hughes, the executive director of Article 19, a group that defends bloggers’ rights worldwide. “Such threats often have a chilling effect on expression, encouraging individuals and organizations to self-censor for fear of violent reprisal.” Read more Extremists in Bangladesh publish global hit list of bloggers and writers
In Kenya bloggers as well as twitter users have been arrested and sued by corporations for their updates. Where does Freedom end and carelessness behind a fake twitter username start? Just because we have freedom does not mean we use it for malicious purposes.
On 15th December the Bloggers Association of Kenya, BAKE will host an event on the African Declaration on Internet rights and freedoms. Its free to attend for anyone willing to go. The event starts at 5pm and ends at 8pm. If you cant make it then you can follow the conversation on twitter using the Twitter Hashtag iFreeKE anytime any day.
This forum will address the principles carried in the African Declaration on Internet rights and Freedoms, and will focus mainly on: Freedom of Expression, Right to Information, Freedom of Assembly and Association on the Internet, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Privacy, Security on the Internet and Right to Due Process.
Through this event, BAKE hopes:
- To first and foremost, create awareness on the existence of the African Declaration on Internet rights and Freedoms
- To educate internet users in Kenya their rights on the internet as Citizens
- To educate Kenyans online on the specific rights entitled to them
- To demystify each right by first finding out existing understanding of it.
- To enable Kenyans to be assertive in their quest for the right to information and the right to cultural and linguistic diversity
- To increase online dialogue from enlightened citizen on their internet rights and freedoms
This will be a chance for internet users to share their thoughts on the contents of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms. We hope that at the end of this event, many will leave with a better understanding of their rights online.
Read more about the Internet Freedoms Citizen Education Campaign