Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UNESCO Ends Relationship with RSF Over Web Freedom

Once again, the political agenda of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization has been embarrased and exposed. The respected United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) withdrew its official support for their "Online Free Expression Day" - a day to shame certain countries they claim blocks free expression online. UNESCO was sufficiently embarrassed that the also ended all future cooperation with the group.

UNESCO removed their "patronage" officially because they said RSF put UNESCOs name on statements and materials that they "had not been informed of and could not endorse." But UNESCO sources quoted in the Cuban press say RSF demonstrated a "lack of ethics" in its attempts to discredit a given number of countries. The source said UNESCO's purposes are not in line with RSF's penchant for sensationalist interest nor it is acting as a court of inquisition for developing nations.

The virtual protest consists of RSFs website being turned into a space where people are encouraged to don an avatar and hold a virtual sign with one of five "approved" messages. I wanted to make my own protest, but apparently free expression does not apply in this virtual protest for freedom of expression on the internet... how could they be so blind to the hypocrisy?

There was no space to inform readers that the United States has shut down several hundreds foreign websites that deal with Cuba (see below). Nothing about the web surveilance the US secretly carries out in Europe under its Echelon program. There are no criticisms of the US or any EU countries; After all, the EU and US help to fund the organization (with more than a million dollars since '05).

There was no ability to let "protesters" know that regulation of private access to Cuba’s internet is based on the fact that the US blocks their access to a fiber-optic connection, which would provide a faster and more efficient connection. If everyone was allowed access, the result would be pure net gridlock (it is already too slow in Cuba). No space to say that the so-called cyber-dissidents in Cuban jails were actually arrested for taking payments from organizations funded (and often set up) by the US Government. No room for anything about the propoganda the US Govt. pumps into Cuba using illegal means.

The French non-government organization has been frequently accused of having close ties with the US Central Intelligence Agency. Canadian journalist Jean-Guy Allard has written several articles and a book denouncing that RSF is being funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy.

By the way, for a Government that supposedly prevents critical messages appear on their press - online or otherwise - the Cuban web is full of stories about the RSF charges.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home