US Embassy, Mobile Web celebrate Internet freedom

Internet

The US Embassy and Mobile Web Ghana (MWG), a community of mobile technology entrepreneurs, has held a forum to discuss innovative ways in which Ghana can take advantage of the prevailing Internet freedom in the country.

The event saw the Internet Freedom Fellow Mac-Jordan Degadjor, who is currently in Geneva, Switzerland, joining in the discussion via Skype. Mac-Jordan, an active blogger, was selected to represent the country at the Internet Freedom Fellowship on-going in Geneva.

The innovations include the creation of virtual pressure groups and organisations to fight against issues such as human rights violation and environmental degradation within the country.

The Internet Freedom Fellowship (IFF) is an annual event that aims to continue the struggle for freedom of expression and association on the Internet, and the pursuit of fundamental human rights.

According to Mac-Jordan, one of the key discussions held at this year’s IFF centred on usage of the Internet to promote human rights in countries where abuses are rampant. “Despite gains being made, it is depressing to hear of governments trying to restrict freedom of expression and association on social media as in the case of China,” Mac-Jordan said.

The use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are subjected to governmental control in China, a country known for its closed government.

The “Happy Hour” event, which was moderated by the Information Resource Centre of the US Embassy, brought together students, professionals and social media activists. Some of the discussions bordered on the security challenge posed by the liberal Internet landscape.

According to MWG’s Eliezer Ayertey: “Making the Internet free and open means people will be free to express their thoughts on key issues that affect them; people will also have access to websites that provide information they need. People can also create virtual groups and organisations to fight against any human rights violation and degradation within their country and beyond.”

The Information Officer of the United States Embassy, Jeanne Clark, praised Ghana for the Internet freedom that prevails in the country.