Article:
  Why Human Rights Requires Free Software
Subject:   XML-RSS "News Wire in a Box" Needed
Date:   2002-10-14 02:24:26
From:   anonymous2
> Patrick does not anticipate that XML
> will make a big difference
> to the human rights community


I don't agree.


I have a friend whose reporting of human rights abuses to Akha hilltribe people in Northern Thailand by the military and police:


http://www.akha.org/


has been repeatedly covered in the Bangkok Post and made a significant contribution
to Amnesty International country report this year:


http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2002/thailand06112002.html


http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/ASA390052002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES\THAILAND


http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/recent/asa390032002


His biggest problem is nationalism and self-censorship in the national media which obviously doesn't want to paint too bad a picture of the indigenous minorities are treated.


The trick is to find some way to get around the national media directly to the international
media and the key to this we believe, are *RSS news aggregators* that collect humans rights
reporting from disparate geographical regions.


We envision a small open source program, a "News Wire in a Box" , for reporting human rights anywhere (e.g. from an internet cafe or from a java enabled cellphone), that could fit on a few floppies and be based on peer to peer technology.


Furthermore, human rights abuses are easy to perpetrate at the local level in many lesser developed countries because there is *no local media*, neither *newspapers* nor radio. Weblogs and news aggregators are the probably the best to begin some grassroots news coverage of local events by locals themselves.