|Graphic from International|
The article, from the UK edition of International Business Times (IBT) is titled "Seven Controversial Figures of Internet Freedom: Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and More." One of the figures under the heading of "More" is yours truly.
Ironically, the article appears as we marked the first anniversary last Thursday of my unlawful arrest in Shelby County, Alabama, making me the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be incarcerated in 2013. More importantly, the recognition comes as we finally are seeing signs of progress against corruption in Alabama, thanks to an ongoing grand-jury investigation in Lee County.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) was indicted last week on 23 felony counts of using his public office for personal gain. State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) goes on trial today on charges of perjury and making false statements.
Court documents indicate prosecutors are aiming even higher, targeting the Riley political machine headed by former GOP governor Bob Riley (2002-2010) and two of his children--Birmingham attorneys Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell. Hubbard is a long-time Riley ally, and the Hubbard indictment includes counts that involve Bob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell. Published reports have shown that Rob Riley was involved with Hubbard in funneling $100,000 in Poarch Creek Indian gaming money to Citizens for a Better Alabama, a group supposedly opposed to gaming.
Rob Riley orchestrated my arrest by filing a lawsuit that bore no resemblance to a standard defamation claim. It clearly was designed to have me jailed because I was a Web-based journalist that the family machine could not control. In fact, another member of the Riley machine, State Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville), has filed what appears to be a dubious defamation lawsuit against another Web-based journalism site, Alabama Political Reporter.
IBT is based in New York City's Financial District and has 10 national editions, in seven languages. Launched in 2005, it is ranked by Alexa as the fourth most visited site among business newspapers.
The piece on internet freedom includes an article by India-based reporter Jerin Mathew, plus an infographic spotlighting each of the seven featured individuals (see link below). Writes Mathew:
The internet is currently a crucial medium of communication. It is being used by people to express their ideas to an audience spread across the globe.
However, certain authoritarian states have introduced measures to filter, monitor and manipulate the internet, as they fear the power of new technologies. Activists have successfully used the medium to advocate political, social and economic reform and mobilise people for the cause.
Certain people have come out to question governments' interference in the cyber world and their snooping on the online activities of people. Some people say they are heroes of democracy, while some others label them as enemies of state security.
7 Controversial Figures of Internet Freedom: International Business Times