Internet freedom activists arrested/detained after Internet freedom conferences

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? (Thanks, James!)


  1. There are consequences for implying, much less outright stating, that the emperor is wearing no clothes (while he violates basic liberties and human rights).

  2. Not sure what the point of converting the fine into USD is, as the resultant sum makes the fine look pointless. Much better if they had used the local currency and added a line about the average salary.

  3. Big, big difference between the arrest of an Egyptian or Russian blogger for actually blogging, and detention of Jacob Appelbaum on investigation of charges for inciting and abetting theft of stolen classified cables.

    1. Inciting and abetting theft of classified info? Why that’s practically mass murder.

    2. There may be. It’s hard to tell what you are implying about what that difference is. IMO, one of the countries involved should fucking well *know better* than to act like that.

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