More bloggers than ever face arrest for exposing human rights abuses or criticising governments, says a report.
Since 2003, 64 people have been arrested for publishing their views on a blog, says the University of Washington annual report.
In 2007 three times as many people were arrested for blogging about political issues than in 2006, it revealed.
More than half of all the arrests since 2003 have been made in China, Egypt and Iran, said the report.
The report pointed out that it is not just governments in the Middle East and East Asia that have taken steps against those publishing their opinions online. In the last four years, British, French, Canadian and American bloggers have also been arrested.
The report predicted that the number of blogger arrests in 2008 would exceed the 36 seen in 2007 thanks to greater popularity of blogging as a medium, greater enforcement of net restrictions, and elections in China, Pakistan, Iran and the US.
I think this means that speech isn't free anymore. The rule of law doesn't mean anything, so why should the idea of being able to speak freely mean anything?