Fiji declares war on bloggers and open internet access

Military authorities in Fiji are cracking down on politically active bloggers, and blocking access to portions of the internet over "national security concerns."

Fiji's current, military-led government seized power in a coup last December.

The nation's sole internet and telecommunnications provider, FINTEL, was ordered to block specific IP address ranges. Banned IPs include many politically outspoken Fijian blogs.

The Sydney Morning Herald has a story here. Here's a related blog post with a good roundup of what's been going on in recent days.

Here are two of the the most active Fijian protest blogs targeted by military authorities: intelligentsiya and resistfrankscoup. Links to many other "resistance websites" on each. Looks like a number of Fijian bloggers are swapping tips on how to evade the 'net blockade.

To any folks in Fiji reading this post: here are some helpful tips on how to navigate around internet censorship -- Link to "BOING BOING'S GUIDE TO DEFEATING CENSORWARE."

UPDATE: Here's a story in the Fiji Times about an IT specialist who says he was beaten by military goons because they believed he had aided the banned blogs:

Businessman and information technology specialist Ulaiasi Taoi says he was punched and kicked by eight soldiers while he was kept overnight at the military camp. He was arrested and detained over allegations that he was involved in anti-military blogs on the Internet.

Mr Taoi was held in a cell at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks for 24 hours after soldiers escorted him from his office in Toorak about 2pm last Friday.

The military took him over its suspicions that he was behind one of the resistance blog sites that have been very vocal against the takeover. He had earlier had a "heavy" and "very abusive" telephone exchange with Colonel Pita Driti in which he was blamed for instigating the blog sites.

Link.