Join the campaign, don't let the web be censored!
Here are the reasons why:
Unlike any medium before it, the internet puts the ability to publish information directly into the hands of ordinary people. It is an engine that liberates individual expression. It can be a powerful tool to spread democracy. As such, it is feared by repressive regimes. States that cannot tolerate dissenting voices have previously found it relatively easy to stifle them. Presses can be confiscated and radio signals jammed. But the decentralised nature of the internet - the way it routes information around the world with no regard for national borders - makes it difficult to censor. That has not stopped authoritarian regimes from trying. Citizens of countries such as China, Iran, Vietnam and Syria have been targeted - sometimes jailed - for posting opinions online.
That is why today, The Observer joins forces with Amnesty International to launch Irrepressible.info, a campaign to uphold free speech in the digital age.
Amnesty has a long and proud tradition of defending those who are silenced by the unjust exercise of state power. But one thing that makes this new campaign different is that it calls also on the private companies that provide the bulk of internet services to take some responsibility for what happens to dissidents. Digital giants such as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft stand accused of working in complicity with authoritarian regimes, customising their content at the behest of state censors.
You can follow BBC correspondents' reports from countries that censor the internet.
UPDATE 30 mei 2006
You know there's something terribly wrong when 'democracy', 'freedom', 'Tibet' are placed in the same censorship category as pornography.