Closure of 73,000 Blogs Discussed on Aussie Radio Show
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« on: August 10, 2010, 10:16:04 am »

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Closure of 73,000 Blogs Discussed on Aussie Radio Show

Of course, it couldn’t remain unnoticed that 73,000 blogs got shut down. The news were everywhere, making international headlines, and recently Australia’s radio show “The Fourth Estate” introduced an interview with Drew Wilson on this issue.

The host of the show approached Wilson to discuss the situation after the reason of closing blogs was confirmed by Burst.net, which said it was terrorist related activity. During 17 minutes appearance he expressed his opinion on the question why the closure of 73,000 individual blogs had such a significant impact all over the globe.

The main issue he highlighted was that because it had happened in the US, there were already some implications when it came to hampering free speech, as it’s a highly valued freedom in the country. In addition, when combined with censorship online, it made a storm of controversy, as free speech is the very core basic freedom making the Internet tick.

Drew Wilson was also asked if this story could set a kind of precedent for the future of the digital world and he argued that it really hadn’t been given that Burst.net was the one pulling the plug on the operations of Blogetery. If it was the FBI that ordered the closure of the website in the first place, it could set a precedent, but it was more an administrative thing than anything else.

It doesn’t mean that Burst.net had been incompetent in any way. Imagine yourself a website admin or a host in the United States, facing the FBI saying that somebody or something under your watch seems to be fueling terrorist activities. What would you do in such stressful situation hearing your government knocking on the door?

On the other hand, it doesn’t justify the threat of censorship online, if you recall the recent news from Italy there the local government is clamping down on bloggers and journalists. And that one does have a chance to set a very bad precedent.

However, the rest of the hosting services and other discussion forums in the country should think over this case and decide what they would do if this happens to them. The incident should be edificatory in some way, and the companies are recommended to take the decisions in its light. Of course, it’s great to consider yourself an advocate of free speech, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the US entities have to operate within the frames of US laws.

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