I have been hazily following the protests in Iran after the current President was declared re-elected in a landslide. People are demonstrating against the result in large numbers in the capital Tehran, and the government has put severe restrictions on media coverage, arrested journalists and bloggers.
Twitter has come out a hero yet again (after the Mumbai blasts) because Iranians are using the IranElection channel (stream?) to post the latest updates about the protests. So much so that when Twitter wanted to take the system down for 90 minutes to do scheduled maintenance, the US government requested them not to do that, in order to help Iranian citizens.
Of course, the US government has no business meddling in the internal affairs of other nations and I hope they don't start to aggressively control Internet companies. But this does show that the Internet is the last public bastion of free speech.
If you are an Indian, I urge you to strongly reject in principle any government regulation of free speech on the Web. In particular, we must ensure that people are allowed to freely upload and access content that is offensive: pornography, racism, secession, inciting violence, denigrating political and religious figures...so on.
Sigh, somehow I have the sinking feeling that the State is going to clamp down on all of the above, and since they'll begin by picking on fringe kooks, we won't bother to care :|
- The Twitter revolution