Friday, February 06, 2004

Freedom to Blog

Way back in the 80’s, I was communicating via electronic bulletin board systems (BBS) with friends in what was then the Soviet Union. They would move from town to town with a PC, modem and printer keeping a few steps ahead of the KGB. Using the incredible power of the technology, they would print newsletters and communicate with Westerners like me who had access to more information than they could have dreamed of.

In fact I learned of the revolutions in Russia before the international press did, thanks to these brave patriots.

I was reminded of this as I read this week about 54 people being jailed in China over their Internet use. Check it out

I am sure if we are hearing about 54 cases, the real number is significantly higher.

Amnesty International is calling for their release. Their crime? Expressing their opinions on the Internet. We bloggers, even far-too-infrequent contributors like me, should be thankful for our great freedom to read and post pretty much what we want.

We should also remember the great empowerment that technology can bring to a person, group or idea. It helped bring down the Soviet Union. Maybe someday it will help in other restricted lands.