Something good has come out of France, and it isn’t food or wine. No, really:
A Paris-based media watchdog has released a free guide with tips for bloggers and dissidents to sneak past Internet censors in countries from China to Iran.
Reporters Without Borders’ “Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents” is partly financed by the French Foreign Ministry and includes technical advice on how to remain anonymous online. It was launched at the Apple Expo computer show in Paris on Thursday and can be downloaded in Chinese, Arabic, Persian, English and French.
“Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure,” Julien Pain, head of the watchdog’s Internet Freedom desk, writes in the introduction.
In a bid to inspire budding Web diarists around the world, the 87-page booklet gives advice on setting up and running blogs, and on using pseudonyms and anonymous proxies, which can be used to replace easily traceable home computer addresses.
When the French are doing more to promote digital freedom than an American company like Yahoo!, you know there’s something wrong.