No to Internet Censorship

Last week I posted about Internet Censorship and how Internet provider companies in Kuwait are misusing their power and increasing their pressures on the freedom of speech by systematically blocking forums and blogs (click here). And if you remember my review of the “When the People Spoke” documentary produced by blogger Bunaz (click here), this documentary did not get the approval to be officially released to the public by the Ministry of Communication, although it portrays history in the making of vital events in the country during May 2006, an effort which deserves proper nourishing and encouragement from the officials instead of disappointment. All this was because the key players in the movie were bloggers.

And about few days back, Alwatan newspaper, which is considered the only paper that portrays government policy, had published an article demanding more control over the Net and accusing bloggers to be politicians working under anonymous names to promote certain individuals or parties, whom they are supposedly working for!!!!! And the writer’s proof was the different blog designs, which he though must have cost a fortune (how stupid). The ignorant writer did not even know that this service is provided for free and that most bloggers are using ready-made designs. The officials in that newspaper did not even check the authenticity of such information before publishing that article. But this is not my issue here since this Newspaper has lost its credibility ever since the orange movement in May 2006 with loads of lies it purposely invented, the fact that led a lot of Kuwaitis to eventually stop their subscription with them. But nevertheless; bringing this subject to public attention is not for naught.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when KTV axed a program titled “Diwaniya” just when the episode about blogging, in which some Kuwaiti and Bahraini bloggers participated, was supposed to be aired. The thing that made it clear to all bloggers that they are under close surveillance and that there is a campaign which is systematically growing to ban the freedom of speech, precisely when it comes to bloggers which they find hard to control

And because of these late developments Kuwaiti bloggers decided to speak up and a blog was initiated by some bloggers and dedicated to fight on behalf of all bloggers (yes they are doing this for us). This blog was named 36, as per the article 36 of the constitution that states:

Article 36 [Freedom of Opinion and Expression]
Freedom of opinion and of scientific research is guaranteed. Every person has the right to express and propagate his opinion verbally, in writing, or otherwise, in accordance with the conditions and procedures specified by law.

(click here to visit the blog), and a petition was included to get as much signatures as possible in their pursuit to get public support. And in the same process, there will be a symposium tonight regarding this issue, organized by the bloggers at eight PM in the National Liberal Unity (I hope this is the right translation). So the least you can do if you are a blogger, or even if you care for the freedom of speech as a principle, is to move your ^$$es and be there.

And I know you do care, so see you there 🙂


An Update
In his first announcement, the new Minister of Information declared that he would issue a decree to make sure that the media abides to the Islamic dogmas and the inherited heritage.
(Source: Kuwait News)
Ya3ni bil3arabi elfasee7; elmo6awa3 jahaz elkhaizarana. How more lucky can we be?

13 Comments (+add yours?)

    Apr 02, 2007 @ 18:12:03

    Hi AyyA

    Great summary! And as your past posts documented, there is a wave of pressure to silence writers, and limit ideas.

    In this time of reforms in Kuwait, freedom of speech is essential to ensure that the reformers are supported and that the truth is clear.

    So, there is no way but to stand up for this basic right, and especially now, and critically before some get their way and manipulate others to fear words and debate.


  2. ummel3yal
    Apr 02, 2007 @ 22:59:38

    Hi hon.

    Great review!
    I’m sorry I couldn’t move my ^$$ today as I have just been out of a minor procedure in my ear that left me out of balance 😦

    So I count on you to keep me updated on the news 🙂

    Good luck!


  3. Kthekuwaiti
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 10:19:40

    My blog is hosted in Sweden, and my domain is registered somewhere in Russia .. therefore, the content on my blog is not under the jurisdiction of Kuwaiti Laws. The internet can not be controlled or censored using the MOC’s usual methods.

    Relax and say what you want. 😉


  4. soud13
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 12:11:52

    Freedom of opinion is guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution, and suppression freedoms will lead to conversion our country to become dictatorship and this not accepted in any form

    للأسف لم أستطيع حضور الندوة فى مقر التحالف أمس 😦


  5. kila_ma6goog
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 15:11:14

    🙂 ill be there:P


  6. AyyA
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 15:59:56
    You said it dear, there will always be others who are afraid to be on the open and prefer to stay benefited from the dark. But no matter how much that costs, we should never give up fighting for our right.

    Where have you been sweetie, missed you
    And sorry to hear about your health problem and hope you’ll get better soon. Kilshay wala ommnah :*
    And about the symposium, too bad I couldn’t attend as well. I was pre-engaged with another issue that I’ve been waiting for a month and did not finish till 10:30 PM. But Alia and KM(bless their hearts) did a good job in covering the event and I’m really proud of all the others who participated whether by speaking up or by attending. Elyayat inshallah..

    Well, never mind this time, but next time we both have to make it no matter what 😀

    It’s all your fault, you should have at least informed us ahead of time instead of making this whole thing in such a hurry :p
    But I love what you guys did, way to go 😀


  7. AyyA
    Apr 03, 2007 @ 16:29:13

    Now how is that done for God’s sake; afeedoona afadakom allah. Anyway; in a couple of months I will be leaving Kuwait, so I wouldn’t have a problem, but this is not my issue, it’s the principle that matters.


  8. TAT
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 01:18:11

    they can try but not succeed just like 2pac was killed his message lives on and I will deliver it.

    AKA say what you want since everyone uses a proxy anyway for web surfing and no one’s blog is hosted in Kuwait so it ownt be a problem


  9. AyyA
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 10:27:31

    Don’t forget that in Egypt about a month back a blogger called Karim Amir was sentenced to 4 years of jail. And Egypt has always been a model to our spaghetti brained officials, so don’t press your luck, you never know.


  10. Al-Azraq
    Apr 07, 2007 @ 19:44:20

    Be free and stay free. Life is short 🙂
    Internet Censorship will never work no matter how they try.


  11. AyyA
    Apr 12, 2007 @ 21:29:12

    I definately agree with you 😀


  12. Intlxpatr
    Apr 14, 2007 @ 21:51:53

    Governments don’t like entities that they can’t control! They will keep trying!


  13. AyyA
    Apr 16, 2007 @ 14:03:41

    I doubt if the move was made by the government; but rather by individuals who are moving those companies. These companies are responsible for providing Internet services to the end user, managing the fast easy flow of information and making sure that this information is filtered according to one source only, which is the ministry of communication. But I think that those companies are exceeding their limits by taking this initiative themselves. Which is really dangerous; it give the feeling that they behave as a country inside a country.. In any case MP Ali Alrashid thankfully issued a set of questions to be answered by communication ministery regarding censorship issues. And the picture should be clearer when we have the answers.


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