Tag Archives: Buffer Zone Bloggers

The Present State of Internet Freedom

The excitement is rising as Buffer Zone Bloggers prepares to launch tomorrow, Friday 29 April 2011. We look forward to greeting our numerous registrants who are coming hungry for fun, information and community. It is also only 5 days away from the World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2011. So as our final post before the event, we thought we should report on the conditions of internet freedom around the world.

Freedom On The Net 2011 Map

Freedom On The Net 2011 Map

 FreedomHouse.org, an independent watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world” for the past 70 years, has released a report, earlier in the month, investigating the global state of internet freedom. According to Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media, cyber attacks, politically motivated censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure are among the diverse and growing threats to internet freedom.

As internet communication explodes around the globe, with the number of users doubling during the past two years, certain governments seem to be increasingly inclined towards restricting the free flow of information and otherwise inhibiting the rights of users. “These detailed findings clearly show that internet freedom cannot be taken for granted,” said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House. “Nondemocratic regimes are devoting more attention and resources to censorship and other forms of interference with online expression.” But it’s not only the autocratic regimes that are following the trend. The United States comes second, after Estonia, lagging behind in terms of broadband penetration and connection speeds. Further, the U.S. government’s surveillance powers seem to provide cause for some concern.

Freedom on the Net 2011 identifies key trends in internet freedom in 37 countries. Evaluation for each country is based on barriers to access, limitations on content, and violations of users’ rights. More than half of the countries evaluated, demonstrate a negative trajectory of measures taken in dealing with the above. Their actions include crackdowns on bloggers, increased censorship, and targeted cyber attacks, often coinciding with broader political turmoil.

For more information on the subject please click on the following links.

IFEX: extensive article on Freedom on the Net 2011

FreedomHouse.org: the organization, the report, the media

World Press Freedom Day: info

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Buffer Zone Bloggers Media Update

Radio:

Tune in tomorrow, Thursday 28 April 2011, 09:00, on the NGO Support Centre show, Η Κοινωνία των Πολιτών, on Radio Astra, 92.8 FM Stereo, and get the blurb on what the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend is all about!

Television:

BIZ-ΕΜΕΙΣ will be covering the first day of the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend which is Friday 29 April 2011. Hope to see all of you participating bright and ready for your close ups 😉

Poverty and Social Exclusion

One of the objectives of the Buffer Zone Bloggers is to raise awareness and involvement in the battle against poverty and social exclusion. The following posts talk about the efforts of the European Commission to combat financial want and segregation in the European Union since 2010.

Poverty and Social Exclusion

80 million people in the EU – or 16% of the population, and 19% of the children – are currently at risk of poverty, since they live on an income below 60% of the median household income of their own country.

17% of Europeans suffer from material deprivation, which means that their living conditions are severely affected by a lack of resources.

Social transfers reduce the risk of poverty by 38% on average in the EU, but this impact varies from less than 10% to nearly 60% across EU.

EU action has helped to create a consensus about the following key challenges:

  • to eradicate child poverty by breaking the vicious circle of intergenerational inheritance
  • to promote the active inclusion in the society and the labour market of the most vulnerable groups
  • to ensure decent housing for everyone
  • to overcome discrimination and increase the integration of people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and immigrants and other vulnerable groups
  • to tackle financial exclusion and overindebtedness.

Since 2000, the European Union has provided, through the open method of coordination, a framework for national strategy development as well as for policy coordination between EU countries on issues relating to poverty and social exclusion.

This coordinated action at European level is reflected in national action plans. It encourages EU countries to examine their policies critically, and highlights how some perform well in certain areas, spurring on others to perform better. It also creates a better basis for policy making by involving NGOs, social partners, local and regional authorities and those working with people in poverty.

 The European Commission provides financial support to relevant activities undertaken by a wide range of stakeholders.

Video Activism: The Power Of Your Point Of View

Disillusioned with one-sided news coverage from mainstream media, activists during the past twenty years have been packing their video cameras as essential speaking-up gear. The medium of Video has proved to be a dramatic weapon in reporting a crisis. Video activism gives voice to how your every-day activist experiences the issues at hand and makes the cause more co-involving for like-minded audiences around the world.

Video activism has been present since the 1960’s. The power brought to the individual by the hand-held camera has proved detrimental to the democratization of audiovisual news-coverage. The increasing user-friendliness of video technology along with the increase in affordability has led to the explosion of the video activist phenomenon during the past couple of decades. Supported by organized networks, video sharing sites such as Youtube, as well as by the social media boom, it has become increasingly easier for dedicated activists as well as impromptu users moved to action, to get their message through.

Watch the video on Video Activism against torture in Egypt and against corruption in Tunisia by clicking the link: http://www.informationactivism.org/tactic10video

Some important features, particular to Video Activism make this an efficient way of speaking up. As stated on the network VideoActivism.org:

  • Video Activism deters police violence.
  • Video Activism helps to document what occurs at actions, for legal follow-up purposes.
  • Video Activism doesn’t water-down, or alter the message of the people.
  • Video Activism allows the people themselves to shape public debate about our world of multiple crises, articulating what is truly relevant news about the world we share. The huge number of people who have their own video cameras at demonstrations today is testament to the democratization of electronic communications.
  • Video Activism is a big feature of the growing world of independent media. More and more concerned people, all over the world, are actually making their own media and by-passing the established, corporate-owned press with their own stories and their unique visions of a better world.

For the past twenty years people around the world have been increasingly turning to the video camera, a tool classically used by police and authoritarian governments, in order to bring to light their own sense of truth and justice. Manolis Andriotakis and Onur Metin are both experienced video activists who will be sharing the tricks of their trade at the Buffer Zone Bloggers weekend.