August 18, 2007

Is your blog really free to express your thoughts?

Blogs have revolutionized freedom of expression of personal opinions reaching out to the world. There is no one to edit what you right other than yourself. But is it really true? We are forgetting the involvement of hosting services or ISPs and BSPS (blog service providers such as Wordpress, Typepad and Blogspot) in the process.

This has happened before that blogs were banned or suspended from Service Providers for political reasons or threat from other users. Yahoo! handed over dissidents' information to Chinese Authorities. And recently "the blog of the Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan (aka Hoder) has been suspended by the U.S. based hosting company, Hosting Matters, after a complaint filed by lawyers representing Mehdi Khalaji(an Iranian), Next Generation fellow at The Washington Institute" - reports Global Voices Online.

The Blog Herald has details on the story. It quotes Jahanshah Javid, an Iranian blogger:
Hossein has not been found guilty in a court of law. He has fallen victim to an aggressive lawyer and an internet hosting company that’s trying to cover its ass.
Global Voices Online raises pertinent questions:
Aside from the political and ideological issues that can legally be addressed and discussed by those for and against Hossein Derakhshan’s rights to express himself on his blog, the most important questions raised by this case are relevant to all of us: Are our personal blogs safe with commercial hosting companies, especially when our writing may be deemed controversial? What if hosting companies edit our posts, deleting whatever they want?
Amidst these debates some also feel that there should be a bloggers' code of conduct following that will not prompt these kinds of consequences.


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