Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Burmese Bloggers By-Pass Censors, Spiegel Says

English Spiegel Online today reports:

Bloggers, aided by an army of civilian journalists sending videos and photographs by mobile phone are letting the world know what is going on inside Burma, as the monks continue their protests against the military regime. (...)

As the protests enter their 10th day, the military regime seems to be ignoring international pleas for restraint and is instead continuing its crackdown on the protestors. In the early hours of Thursday morning, troops raided a number of monasteries and dragged away hundreds of monks. Just a few hours later, images of the blood-spattered floor of the monasteries were posted on Internet news sites across the world.

Ko Htike’s blog’s traffic has increased tenfold over the past few days. The Burmese national, who lives in London, has turned his literary blog into a political forum. “I have around 10 people inside in different locations ... They are walking along with the march and as soon as they get any images or news they pop into internet cafes and send it to me,” he told BBC News on Wednesday. Ko Htike said that the bloggers usually use chat rooms like Yahoo Messenger to communicate.

Google in China agreed to censor among the top 5 web results for both the search query “Burma” and “Myanmar”. This may be caused by indirect censorship – a domain important to the reporting of these issues is blacklisted by the Chinese governments for other reasons – or direct censorship of these issues (Burma borders on China). But this type of censorship is not able to stop the information crossing the globe whith the help of the net’s uncensored venues.


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