Monday, January 29, 2007

Human Rights Search Engine Launched

A new search engine has been launched specialising in human rights sites. Called 'hurisearch', the engine has spidered over 2 million pages on specific human rights sites (mainly NGOs and academic institutions) and - from the quick spin I've given it - seems to deliver pretty good results. For example a search on'blasphemy' delivered mostly highly relevant academic and NGO papers on the subject, as well as fairly up-to-date reports of cases. Compare this with the Google result, which is very different (the specialised resources are found way below wikipedia (not to be knocked, but still), some seemingly random blogs and on-line dictionary results).
The inteligent user/researcher would use both, depending on the kind of results you are looking for.

In Firefox, you can set hurisearch as the default search engine for the location bar by typing about:config in the location bar, then enter 'keyword' as the filter and set the keyword.url value to " " (without the quotation marks).

Monday, January 15, 2007

US Act to regulate Yahoo and co. in China reintroduced

U.S. congressman Chris Smith has announced that he will reintroduce legislation which aims to promote free expression and the free flow of information on the Internet by preventing U.S. companies from aiding regimes who restrict access to the Internet.

See here for a pretty good and thoughtful post on it (although I don't necessary agree with it!).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

UN Security council notices journalists

In what I think is a bit of a first, the UN Security Council has recognised that journalists need protection in war zones. Resolution 1738(2006), adopted on 23 December 2006,

"1. Condemns intentional attacks against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel, as such, in situations of armed conflict, and calls upon all parties to put an end to such practices;
2. Recalls in this regard that journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians. This is without prejudice to the right of war correspondents accredited to the armed forces to the status of prisoners of war provided for in article 4.A.4 of the Third Geneva Convention;
3. Recalls also that media equipment and installations constitute civilian objects, and in this respect shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals, unless they are military objectives".

The full text can be accessed through here.