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"We're still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution." – Scott Cook

End of Google Reader

When I logged into Google Reader today, a warning popped up stating, “Google Reader will no longer be available after July 1, 2013.”   Since this was the first time I have accessed Google Reader, I was not disappointed. For many internet users, however, the news is disheartening because Google Reader is used as an anti-censorship tool in countries such as Iran, where the internet is heavily censored. Google Reader is a resource that connects to RSS feeds which then allows news and information to bypass firewalls and other censorship roadblocks — making it impossible for a government to block news sources. The end of the user-friendly Google Reader is bad news for many internet users in the Middle East, but no doubt they will find other resources to use in its place.

Middle Eastern and North African countries have some of the worst rates of internet censorship according to the watchdog group OpenNet Initiative.  Jordon (dubbed the Silicon Valley of the Middle East) is reported to have the least amount of censorship in the region, but this doesn’t mean much, considering how the King has put a ban on any website to freely publish news, investigative reports, articles, and comments related to the affairs of the Kingdom.

Here in the United States, we are currently trying to declare Bradley Manning an “Enemy of the State” for downloading kabillions of classified cables to WikiLeaks .  Bradley Manning appears to be both guilty and innocent so it is not shocking that last week he pled guilty to 11 out of 22 charges against him. He pled not guilty to the charge of aiding the enemy.  As I was listening to information about his trial in a podcast in On the Media  — 10 Years After the Iraq War and Big Threat to Whistleblowers, I learned of a new, powerful whistle-blowing website in the United States called Local Leaks.

When I tried to access their website, all I found was a dead web page and a blog that has been shut down by their ISP for mysterious reasons.


Baker, Stephanie. (October 21, 2012 Sunday ). Jordan emerges as the Silicon Valley of the Arab world. The Washington Post, Retrieved from www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

(October 11, 2012 Thursday 5:31 PM GMT ). Anti-Islam film prompts Saudi call for net censorship body; Saudi Arabia has called for a new international body to censor the internet, in the wake of the anti-Islam YouTube clip that recently sparked violence in the Middle East.. telegraph.co.uk, Retrieved from www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

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