The Fight for Internet Freedom and Accesibility

It is astonishing to me how easily people fighting for simple online freedom and accessibility can be held captive and punished for doing so. After reading the pieces I have come to realize that there are many talented scholars and organizational groups who have been working together to ensure that there is an online outlet which can help activists speak out, build their own ideas and become more knowledgeable and rounded human beings.

Bassel Khartabil’s story was an example of one of these scholars who have pushed for a broader border on virtual world access. In the ‘Captured in the line of duty’ section of The Guardian’s online newspaper on Khartabil’s accomplishments, captivity, whereabouts and some information on the Creative Commons, we read about Khartabil’s success in introducing his encoded formulation that worked to make the Firefox open-source web browser available in the arabic language.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.47.05 PMNot only was Bassel Khartabil’s work brilliant but it lead to making the Creative Common’s organization more widely known, as he gained recognition from several other respectable sources and projects. The piece continues with explaining that Khartabil was able to provide input for a developing project called New Palmyra Project.

The continuation of Khartabil’s work, even while being in custody, shows his integrity and determination to help expand the online world in his country, and work towards making the internet a free source for all. The fact that Khartabil took the risk to work towards a meaningful cause even after being behind bars and captured, exemplifies a true heroic and brave figure, because it is a demonstration of someone who has fought for his beliefs, even in extremely dangerous situations.

It is heartbreaking to see that someone so talented, self driven, be incarcerated and killed, as speculations have suggested, since he has not been seen or heard of for quite some time now. The article finishes off with a memorable statement. It mentions that there needs to be more people in the society such as Bassel Khartabi, who are willing to fight for change. In my opinion, I completely agree with the statement that was made at the end of the piece. Although, scholars and activists should take extra precautions regarding their work, the world will not change without those who are willing to put themselves at risk to be the change they want to see in the world. People, such as Bassel Khartabi, are the ones who will strive, die and provide the change this world needs. With the brains, intelligence, and good hearted actions of these people it is safe to say the world may be changing, and internet accessibility as well as the right to speak up and find your own voice, in countries which prohibit that, may be expanding.

The text was inspiring, yet a bit scary. Being punished for working hard on something you believe in, expanding and creating access to more sources for the people all over the world, seems unfair to me. However, seeing someone follow their beliefs despite the possible consequences is very inspiring, and makes you realize how anyone with the will can help make a change in this world.

The Fight for Internet Freedom and Accesibility

4 thoughts on “The Fight for Internet Freedom and Accesibility

  1. alexanderamiot73 says:

    I agree, this story was more of a heartfelt one to me about the generous contributions of one individual instead of articles showing the collective efforts of several people. So it was a nice change pace as well. Overall good analysis and summary of the article.


  2. sierrakalman says:

    I also think it is very nice of Khartabi to work on free internet for all even though it resulted in his imprisonment. I also think that it is terrible that someone, who is trying to help other people, would go missing. I believe that he is still helping others even though he is missing because he has united so many. I agree with Alexander, your analysis was really good.


  3. I also agree with you on how the world needs more people like Bassel Khartabi, who are willing to risk their lives to bring good to others. I think it is important to see how impactful online platforms are and the change they can bring to a country. Living in America I forget how fortunate we are and how having internet access is a privilege. As you mentioned in your last paragraph, it is very sad to see how someone could be incarcerated for something we get to do everyday in America.


  4. Brandon Kado says:

    What really interests me is the overlap of physical social space and digital space here. It has been established that the Syrian government is in shambles and in the midst of a civil war, and it is cruelly genius to punish Bassel for his role in creating the Arab open source economy by denying him access to the digital social space, where his tools and knowledge exist; ofcourse, it is unjust and should not have happened to begin with.

    What is terrifying is how long ago he went missing–four years is a long time for somebody to show up alive from a country in such dire shape.


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