Under the banner ‘We fight censorship’ journalists’ campaigning organisation Reporters sans Frontières last week launched a website which will carry content that has been censored, banned or which has given rise to reprisals against its author.
The new website, called WeFightCensorship (WeFC) has the declared aim of making censorship obsolete and will complement other actions taken by Reporters sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders) to defend freedom of information, such as advocacy, lobbying and assistance to reporters and journalists.
The WeFightCensorship website will consider for publication content written by reporters who may have been the victims of censorship. Most journalistic content will be considered including articles, videos, sound files and photos. If the WeFightCensorship editorial committee select content which might not otherwise have seen the light of day, articles and features will be accompanied by a description of the context and the creator of the material. Content may also be linked to documentation and procedures under which it was banned so that readers can gain a better understanding of the importance of any material which would otherwise not have been published.
There are French and English language versions of the WeFightCensorship website already up and running and documents received from non-anglophone or francophone countries will be published in their original language. WeFightCensorship is also actively looking for translation volunteers to assist with translation of documents submitted into English and/or French.
The website features a "digital safe,” reports Journalism.co.uk, where users can anonymously transmit content which will be considered for publication. Despite this aid to anonymity Reporters sans Frontières recommends that those submitting material for consideration by the editorial board take steps to secure their Internet connection by using a VPN or an anonymization tool such as Tor, I2P or Psiphon.
In the shape of a ‘Digital Survival Kit,’ the site will also offers practical tools and advice to reporters and journalists on circumventing censorship and securing communications and data. The survival kit will be revealed over the coming months aiming to provide a counterbalance to censorship, repressive régimes and other groups that may be intent on controlling the flow of news, comment and information and silencing dissent.
To guard against the possibility of repressive regimes or groups shutting down, filtering or blocking WeFightCensorship, the website has been designed to be easily duplicated so that mirror versions can be quickly created. WeFightCensorship is also keen that internet users publicise and circulate the censored content in order to give it as much prominence as possible.
To bring the WeFightCensorship project to fruition, Reporters sans Frontières has received support from the European Union’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Paris City Hall.