Curt Hopkins, in C-Net's "Blogging to be Free", asserts:
"I get CNet news alerts in my email daily. I feel a need to stay on top of certain techie news because of my job at a high tech company. Today I got a news alert and the headline was "Blogging to be Free" by Curt Hopkins, director and founder of the Committee to Protect Bloggers.
I found my self nodding my head when I read, "Newspapers, even individual Web sites, are relatively easy to shut down. But what can't be shut down is a self-perpetuating system like the blogosphere. What our experience has shown is not that a single organization, the Committee to Protect Bloggers, is a threat to tyrants, but that blogging itself is. Blogging's culture of sharing, quoting and linking has created a radical redundancy for powerful ideas." I've mentioned here and there about my fascination with the communities of interest being built in the blogosphere and even though my circle of online acquaintances, i.e. my community, might be somewhat small they have online friends who blog who have online friends who blog, etc., nearly ad infinitum."
"Iran has imprisoned more than 20 bloggers in the last six to eight months. But it is hardly the only villain. Bahrain, a relatively liberal country for a hereditary Persian Gulf monarchy, imprisoned three moderators of BahrainOnline, a bulletin board service, including the chief, a blogger named Ali Abdulemam. Ali and his two co-moderators were also subsequently released on their own recognizance after a similar effort by Bahraini bloggers and the CPB. China has a huge number of cyberdissidents behind bars. Security police in Malaysia and Syria have hauled bloggers in for interrogation."It's not quite that bad, here in the States.
However, blogging in the Free World is not without risks, or sometimes consequences.
There seems to be a pretty common perception that blogging is becoming a risky thing to do.
Google turns up a ton of news articles about all this.
Then there was the whole nanny-getting-fired thing, not so long ago. I sort of followed the story in Making Light and Bitch Ph.D.
The recently infamous Dr. Richard Scott Nokes*, of Unlocked Wordhoard, discussed blogging as an academic.
It's been discussed widely elsewhere, too. There's already a Legal Guide for Bloggers, online.
I'm not sure what to make of all this. My instincts suggest that perhaps there's more going on with these employer/employee relationships than the employee's blog--but perhaps not. Keeping your job is powerful motivation to keep your mouth shut--and it always has been.
Staying out of prison is much more powerful motivation, as is avoiding torture.
Perhaps it's all been discussed to death, already. That's okay. It never hurts to float the issue across the surface of our thoughts now and then, especially in the context of the ongoing discussion we've been recently having, regarding technology, community, and interpersonal dynamics--perhaps it will serve to prevent us from becoming smug and complacent.
(*ed note: Dr. Nokes thinks The Silmarillion is boring. This pronouncement resulted in worldwide virtual protests....or, well, actually a couple of other bloggers and commenters took mild issue. Dr. Taylor at PoliBlog comes to Dr. Nokes' defense. To be perfectly honest, I've never been able to force myself all the way through the Sil--I keep falling asleep and having to start all over. I'm keeping my head down about that, though. Meanwhile, it's all been triffic good fun to watch.)