EFF holds Wiki-hack day in support of jailed Ethiopian bloggers

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In April, a group of six members of the Zone 9 bloggers network and three other journalists in Ethiopia were arrested for blogging about free speech and online surveillance – which has attracted a massive amount of attention from abroad.

Charged with terrorism, the arrest has spurred many organisations into action to help out in whatever capacity they can, and one such organisation is Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In an effort to raise awareness about the ongoing trial, which has been postponed to 15th October, the organisation decided to host a Zone 9 Bloggers Edit-a-thon.

The aim of the Edit-a-thon was to improve the Wikipedia entries relating to the Zone 9 Bloggers’ case so that those that want to get more information on it can do so by going to the Wikipedia page.

“Roughly a dozen people met at the Wikimedia HQ in San Francisco to get to work. After about four hours of writing and researching, we had not only tripled the size of the Zone 9 Bloggers article, but we had also added three sections to the Human Rights in Ethiopia entry: Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Association, and Electronic Communications,” the EFF said in a blog post.

During the editing session, volunteers also expanded ‘Internet in Ethiopia’ section on Wikipedia to illustrate “censorship and surveillance, updated the Ethio Telecom article about the country’s only ISP (which happens to be owned by the government), and updated the article on spyware manufacturer FinFisher to include Ethiopia’s use of the spyware.”

It also created a new Wikipedia entry for blogger Befeqadu Hailu, who has become one of the more famous arrested bloggers of the group.

[Source – EFF, Image – Wikipedia Commons/Endalk.chala]

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.