Political repression of cyber-dissidents

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Political repression of cyber-dissidents is the oppression or persecution of people for expressing their political views in the Internet.

Along with development of the Internet, state authorities in many parts of the world are moving forward to install mass surveillance of the electronic communications, establish Internet censorship to limit the flow of information, and persecute individuals and groups who express "inconvenient" political views in the Internet. Many cyber-dissidents have found themselves persecuted for attempts to bypass state controlled news media. Reporters Without Borders has released a Handbook For Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents and maintains a roster of currently imprisoned cyber-dissidents.

Iran[edit]

Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi was imprisoned for published an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His pregnant wife and other bloggers who commented on the arrest were imprisoned too.[1]

Egypt[edit]

Several bloggers in Egypt are arrested for allegedly defaming the president Hosni Mubarak or expressing critical views about Islam [2] Blogger Karim Amer has been convicted to four years of prison [3]

China[edit]

Chinese Communist Party leader Hu Jintao ordered to "maintain the initiative in opinion on the Internet and raise the level of guidance online," [4] "An internet police force - reportedly numbering 30,000 - trawls websites and chat rooms, erasing anti-Communist comments and posting pro-government messages." [5] However, the number of Internet police personnel was challenged by Chinese authorities [6] Amnesty International blamed several companies, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, of collusion with the Chinese authorities to restrict access to information over the Internet and identify cyber-dissidents by hiring "big mamas" .[7]

It was reported that departments of provincial and municipal governments in mainland China began creating "teams of internet commentators, whose job is to guide discussion on public bulletin boards away from politically sensitive topics by posting opinions anonymously or under false names" in 2005 [8] Applicants for the job were drawn mostly from the propaganda and police departments. Successful candidates have been offered classes in Marxism, propaganda techniques, and the Internet. "They are actually hiring staff to curse online," said Liu Di, a Chinese student who was arrested for posting her comments in blogs [8]

Russia[edit]

In 2006 journalist Vladimir Rakhmankov published an article on the Internet where he named Vladimir Putin "the nation's phallic symbol". A regional court found Rakhmankov guilty of offending Vladimir Putin and fined him to a sum of 20,000 roubles (~680 USD).[9][10][11][12]

In July 2008 blogger Savva Terentyev was found guilty of inciting hatred against a social group of police officers and convicted to a year of suspended sentence for hate speech, after a comment in the Livejournal in which he made public calls to burn policemen alive in crematoria "like in Auschwitz".[13][14]

Tunisia[edit]

Lawyer and human rights defender Mohammed Abbou was imprisoned for criticizing torture on a web site.[15]

Vietnam[edit]

Nguyen Vu Binh was imprisoned for writing about violations of human rights, and Truong Quoc Huy was arrested for discussing political reforms in Internet chat room [16] Nguyen Vu Binh was released in June 2007.

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