John Ozimek of The Register has pointed out some issues around blogging, journalism and freedom of speech in an article called “It’s official: Blogging is a dangerous business”.
He’s referring to a report published by Reporters Sans Frontieres at:
Of course, when you compare the figures for casualties of one sort or another for “real” journalists, the trend looks less dramatic (for instance, one blogger died in prison whereas 76 journalists are reported as having been killed). However, there is a distinct and alarming upward trend: nearly three times as many bloggers and “cyber-dissidents” were arrested in 2009: 151 as compared to 59 in 2008. Similarly, physical assaults on bloggers went up by 35%, and the number of countries affected by online censorship went up by 62%.
Fortunately for me, my geographical location and the nature of the work I do spares me most of those risks, though I suspect that there are one or two testers who wouldn’t mind slapping me round a bit. 😉
That’s not to say that there aren’t less dramatic risks to being a blogger, though: I pointed out some of them in an AVAR paper last year.
Still, compared to the 30 journalists killed in a single day in the Phillipines, the odd flame from other bloggers, commenters, and the occasional suit doesn’t seem to bad.
Which reminds me that we don’t seem to have any takers for AVIEN members to swell our blogger population so far. C’mon, live dangerously! 🙂
David Harley FBCS CITP CISSP
Chief Operations Officer, AVIEN
Director of Malware Intelligence, ESET