Why is a crucial conference on internet freedom taking place in a dictatorship?
Telegraph.co.uk - "It’s of deep concern that a conference on internet freedom is being held in one of the world’s most tawdry dictatorships . . .Azerbaijan is also a country with a track record of persecuting internet activists, such as bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada. Elnur Majidli, a Strasbourg-based blogger and internet activist, was threatened with a 12 year jail sentence for "inciting hatred" after setting up Facebook groups that facilitated rare public protests in Azerbaijan during 2011. . . State TV broadcasts programmes that allege Facebook and Twitter cause criminality among Azerbaijan’s young people. Just last year, the country’s chief psychiatrist warned that social media caused mental disorders. This is the country that will host the IGF (a United Nations initiative) and help set the framework for the future of internet freedom. . . Russia and China have been particularly vocal in their desire to grab control of the internet – and the IGF is one important vehicle where they can build alliances to begin this process. . . As Prof. Milton Mueller argues in the next issue of Index on Censorship magazine:
"Internet technology – TCP/IP protocols – can be installed in computers in North Korea, but it won’t make communications in that country free. If a repressive government owns and operates the telecommunications infrastructure, blocks trade in computer and telecom equipment, does not allow a free market for access, devices or services to develop … it’s [then] easy to contain and control the internet.""
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