Iran Requires Blog Registration…U.S. Next?
Posted by jeremiasx on February 17, 2007
In a country that very little is generally known about, the legitimacy of the blogosphere as a forum of free thought is about to be crushed under the thumb of the government in an attempt to require bloggers to register and be submitted to routine inspection and oversight. This move has emboldened many dissidents around the globe who seek to enlighten the general public as to the impending plight of the intellectual free-thinkers within the country of Iran.
Iranian bloggers have reacted with anger and scorn to a new law requiring them to register their websites and blogsites with the authorities.
It is being seen as the latest attempt by the Iranian government to control the media.
A contributor to BBC Persian.com, Fariba Sahraie, asked six Iranian bloggers – inside and outside Iran – if they thought the law could be enforced and what effect it would have.
Some rumors have circulated within the past few years that the same type of registration will be required of individual bloggers within our own country, and I’ve not yet found any of those claims to be credible. In fact, they have been basically debunked in many forums. I have followed links which claim to give insight into little known pieces of “secret legislation” in the U.S. Congress yet they invariably lead to some unrelated issue or are being misinterpreted because the rules apply to companies or entities which are being monitored for lobbying interests. This doesn’t apply to the average blogger like you or me.
Is this legislation, if it applies to everyone in the blogosphere who criticize the government, a danger to freedom? Absolutely…has it happened? No…not that I’ve seen, not yet. Many argue that the freedom to write whatever you please in the ether of the world wide web is a fundamental right to free speech, and I’d tend to agree. Some claim that censorship on the web is impossible, yet it is happening in China on a daily basis, aided by the corporate complicity of our friends at Microsoft. We must remain ever vigilant that no type of legislation ever be imposed upon us that will remove our freedom to say the things that need to be said, or the things that we want to say, to and about our government.
There is verifiable history of the suppression of freedom of speech during wartime and even in times of peace within our own country. The Alien and Sedition Acts were a crime against the freedom of speech, press, and thought…and remain embedded in our minds and consciences as a product of one of the most tyrannical periods within our young republic. We should never forget that it is possible, however unlikely, that the same could occur again should we forget the mistakes of the past and allow our liberty to be traded for supposed security.
For those of you who believe the Alien and Sedition Acts would be beneficial to restoring the “strength of the Republic”, and who believe that dissenters against the current policies should be punished…remember…in those acts it was a crime to question ANY action of the government, whether it was one that you agreed or disagreed with. This means that whether you criticize Ted Kennedy or Arlen Specter, you are a seditionist by rote of the same law. Tyranny oppresses the populace, and it does so in a way which caters to the interests of the elite and never to the public at large. Be wary of defending people who make the claims that dissent is unpatriotic or treasonous…for theirs is the worst form of the same. The death of Liberty is only good for about one tenth of one percent of the population of any country. For the rest, it leads to the return to bondage and darkness.