Friday, 19 June 2009

Act now to protect Iranian political 'bloggers and twitterers...

Last night I received an urgent request for help from an Iraqi 'blogger: please reset your location details to Iran or Tehran on your 'blog and twitter accounts, and the time to GMT +3.30 (Tehran time).

According to my Iranian blogger contact, secret police are rounding up 'bloggers and twitteres who are describing events in the country, using a list of everyone registered in Iran and with this unique time zone.

If thousands of us around the world (and therefore out of reach of the Iranian secret police!) make these settings our own, the hope is that the secret police will be overwhelmed and free blogging and twittering will continue in Iran a while longer.

Freedom of speech on the 'net - and for journalists in general - must be preserved: it's only if people know what's going on that they can make an informed decision, and no-one will know what's going on if the police are arresting everyone who's trying to tell us!

So please change these details, even if just for a day or two: it takes less than a minute, costs nothing, and could prevent an innocent 'blogger from a night (or more...) in the cells, and help preserve the free flow of information about political events both inside, and beyond, Iran.

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