James Losey from the New America Foundation sez, "I noticed a pattern of people getting arrested, detained, or sentenced following Internet Freedom conferences. The timing is coincidental, but its a poignant reminder of the risks people face when pushing back against unjust authority and fighting for basic rights."
In late October 2011, Alaa Abd El Fattah, a prominent Egyptian blogger, was arrested as he returned from the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference. The charge: inciting violence toward the military during riots on Oct. 9, 2011. He was released nearly two months later. That same month, Jacob Appelbaum, a core member of the Tor Project who has also volunteered with Wikileaks, was detained in Iceland after speaking at the Internet and Democratic Change, an event sponsored by the Swedish government.
And just last month, Thai blogger Chiranuch Premchaiporn, aka Jiew, went from a speaking engagement at Google’s Internet at Liberty conference in Washington to a sentencing hearing. She faced up to 20 years in prison because comments posted on her website by readers were deemed insulting to the king. In the end, she was fined the equivalent of $630 and received an eight-month suspended sentence.
Why Do So Many Bloggers Get Arrested After Internet Freedom Conferences?
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX, @JohnCornyn, +1 202-224-2934] introduced the Building America’s Trust Act as a “long-term border security and interior enforcement strategy” but refused to release the bill’s text, which has now leaked.
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