Freedom of speech


People with money have all the power. But they shouldn’t have and they don’t need to have.

Tthe internet’s uniquely distributed platform allows us freedom of speech like never before. Uk ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has had his site removed by hosts Fasthost. Why? Because the billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, threatend them with a lawsuit if not. Apparently he doesn’t like the fact that people have said nasty things about him. I’m not sure that using the law in this case is strictly justified and Craig Murray has actually invited the man to sue him so that his allegations can be tested in a court of law. Brave.

You can get more of the detail on teh case here –
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/24/usmanov_vs_the_internet/

and here’s some more
http://charliemarks.wordpress.com/2007/09/22/our-internet-rebellion-makes-the-news/

There are also badges should you want them, since there is an “I’m Spartacus” response going on on the net at the moment and I am attempting to track down a version of the original article criticising Usmanov.

The beauty and the pain of the net is that you can’t control it. It’s distributed media for goodness sake. We just have to hope that the hosting companies don’t buckle and that the net fulfills the purpose that Arpanet was originally designed for – to keep information alive in the face of an attack. Not perhaps how the US government thought it would work, but an appropriate metaphor in the current circumstances.

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