UN Blocks Access to Free Gaza Movement's Website, Jan. 15
Meeting in General Assembly Set
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 13, updated -- On UN
website of the Free Gaza Movement is blocked. Inner City Press asked
about the group's
attempts to deliver aid to Gaza by ship at the UN's noon briefing on
Tuesday. Video here,
at Minute 29:44.
Later in the day, alerted by a UN staff member that the web site had
blocked, Inner City Press typed it in: www.freegaza.org. Within the UN,
this results in a
message from the "ICT Security
Unit" that "you have been redirected to this page because the site
you are attempting to access is blocked according to the policy as
allows staff "limited personal use of ICT resources" unless these
involve "pornography or engaging in gambling" or would
"compromise the interests or the reputation of the Organization."
The Free Gaza Movement's
mission statement is that
"We want to break the siege
of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like
of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review
sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation.
to uphold Palestine's right to welcome internationals as visitors,
observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise."
How does this "compromise the interests
or reputation" of the UN?
UN's Ban, UNDP's Dervis, Google and technology: Free Gaza not shown
why the UN would block this site, one wag quipped, so that UN staff
don't go work for an organization that actually accomplishes something
- the reference being to the "Banquished" Ban Ki-moon, not to some
heroic UNRWA staff.
Footnote: At 5:15
p.m. on Tuesday Inner City Press
learned that the UN General Assembly will hold its postponed
special session on
Gaza this Thursday at 10 am. During Tuesday morning's closed door
in the Security Council, France's Jean-Maurice Ripert said that the
Assembly should be careful to remain consistent with
the Council. Why?
Update: Following Inner City Press'
January 13 report that
the UN was blocking intra-net access to the website of the Free Gaza
the next day the UN reversed course and allowed access -- without
of course. Could it be like increased Internet access during last
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