Reporters sans frontières provide shelter for disgraced bloggers

    Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), a Paris-based human rights organization, launched the Censorship Asylum project last Thursday to protect bloggers around the world from harassment.

    RSF Group provides part of its Paris office for foreign journalists and bloggers, from where they can continue their activities through a secure Internet channel, masking their online identity.

    This project will also provide carefully selected foreign bloggers with free access to anonymous and secure Internet access and proxies in order to complicate repressive administrations the possibility of prosecuting bloggers for their activities.

    Jean-Francois Juillard in 2009“This [bloggers] will allow them to safely connect to the Internet and continue their blogging activities,” RSF head Jean-Francois Juliard said during the launch of the “virtual shelter”.

    He admitted that persistent administrations can find ways to circumvent disguised Internet addresses, but nonetheless, the project can still help targeted bloggers avoid being arrested, which is happening more and more now.

    “If the CIA or other similar agencies want to find workarounds, they will most likely do it, but now it will be much more difficult for them to do it,” added Juliard.

    RSF estimates the number of persecuted bloggers and online journalists who are in prison for their activities at 120 people, and this does not include countries such as China, Vietnam and Iran.

    The project was supported by, the Chinese news blog editor, who said two of his blog editors were jailed for posting criticisms of the government.

    © AFP 2010
    Original in English

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