Bassel Khartabil is an innovator of internet technology and created a space for people to explore a new world internet. His activism with regard to the internet as a platform for free speech unfortunately, cost him his freedom. When free speech comes in conflict with corrupt regimes and those that rule with oppression the victims become those that are speaking out….Bassel Khartabil. His (detainment) arrest was a blow to online communities and the freedom of expression he fought to create online.
The opportunity to express ones displeasure with government regimes is often met with resistance and even murder. Bassel Khartabil has disappeared, how does someone disappear while being detained and locked-up? As we learned in class last Thursday with the guest speaker Shahid Buttar the information gathered by governments like the United States is often used to suppress any movement that is a threat to the economic and political means of those in power. This was evidenced by the files that were taken from the FBI by the Vietnam Veterans that implicated the organization for manifesting malicious actions towards Martin Luther King. One wonders is they broke in two years later what would we discover about the death of John F. Kennedy. Governments have a way of making those that speak out either remain in jail, become discredited and/or disappear/are murdered.
Sadly, Bassel Khartabil has an opportunity to come to the United States and work as professor at MIT as noted in the text for this week. We as a nation can no longer expand our Imperialism in countries around the world for resource extraction and then build a wall around ourselves. In effect, we want our hands in everyone’s cookie jar although, you better not try to get any of our yummy cookies. We have our own sad history of detainees and Trump announced yesterday that no other detainees at Gitmo will be released…”they are very dangerous to the world and must never be released.” It appears as if the government of Syria also finds Bassel to be very dangerous and that he must never be released….Who is it that is threatened by the release? Bassel was an internet frontiersman with vision for a future were open exchange of thoughts and ideas is a paramount concept to the expansion of the human race. Shall we digress as a race and continue to suppress freedom of speech and information… Stand-up for these rights or you may find yourself carried away (detained, disappeared) next!