12 February 2008

The Free Flow of Information vs. Jamming and Internet Censorship

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

VOA conducts much of its work by transmitting information across international frontiers --- sometimes into countries that don’t support the notion of a free flow of news and ideas. Some of these countries go to great (and expensive) lengths to block VOA programming.

Some of the blocking is aimed at preventing people from accessing VOA websites.

Some blocking is aimed at VOA radio and television broadcasts, using a technique known as jamming.

As VOA Director Danforth Austin notes, “Millions of people tune in to VOA every week or visit VOANews.com for trustworthy news and information. When our broadcast frequencies are jammed or our website is blocked, it is the people in our audiences who suffer the most."

We believe all countries engaged in jamming or internet censorship should halt such activities and live up to the promise of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by allowing a truly free flow of information.

And if you are among those in our audience who are victims of jamming or internet censorship, we here at the VOA News Blog would like to hear about your experiences as well as your thoughts on such interference. Just click on the comment function at the end of this post.


Anonymous said...

The radio jamming or internet censorship is reasonable for the national interest.

Anonymous said...

and by the way, shortwave radio jamming on the VOA mandarin program in China is severe.