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Sweden pledges more aid for 'web activists'

The Local/vt · 10 Feb 2011, 15:15

Published: 10 Feb 2011 15:15 GMT+01:00

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Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson has already allotted 150 million kronor ($23.12 million) for democracy and freedom of speech this year.

Having taken note of the events in Tunisia and Egypt in the last month, she wants to further invest in achieving these aims, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) reported on Thursday.

Carlsson calls internet activists the "new democracy fighters." She will host a meeting on March 10th to hear about new project ideas and has invited individuals to submit their ideas by email by February 24th at openaid@foreign.ministry.se.

"It is about supporting people's efforts to build democracy from the inside in unfree countries. I will take the best ideas from the meeting in March with me to work for developing Swedish aid for democracy, as well as in the discussions taking place within the EU," Carlsson said in a statement on Thursday.

"The knowledge and the commitment of internet activists, entrepreneurs and bloggers are needed in modern aid that takes freedom seriously," she added.

Carlsson will invite a number of high-profile experts to contribute to the conversation. The invitation list will be made up of individuals with ideas about social media on their websites and the 10 most creative will be chosen, according to DN.

Among the most eagerly anticipated invitees is Swedish live video streaming site Bambuser's founder Måns Adler. The site was among those blocked in Egypt two weeks ago. Last Wednesday, it created a new site dedicated to videos from Egypt after access to Bambuser from the country was restored.

Story continues below…

Swedish aid allocation for democracy and freedom of speech began in 2009 at a significantly smaller scale.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete, Sida) has so far provided assistance through anonymising networks that help struggling democracy activists in dictatorships and to an international nonprofit organization that trains journalists, DN reported.

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Your comments about this article

16:05 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
"Swedish aid allocation for democracy and freedom of speech began in 2009 at a significantly smaller scale."

Since 2009? WoW! We've been doing that in the US for hundreds of years!!!
16:25 February 10, 2011 by Tanskalainen
I'd like to activate Gunilla's web, yum, yum.
17:30 February 10, 2011 by Rebel
Offer void if you happen to be Julian Assange?
18:29 February 10, 2011 by SweAbroad
@UScitizen.. Open your eyes: http://www.vexen.co.uk/USA/foreign_aid.html
19:16 February 10, 2011 by Rick Methven

"Since 2009? WoW! We've been doing that in the US for hundreds of years!!! "

Was George Washington the founder of the WWW? if your oh so great TIED US aid was helping the web for hundreds of years.

You have bragged on TL before that you own a house in the US that you can go to at any time, and you have no need to work.

How about going back right now.

Bye Bye you will NOT be missed
19:38 February 10, 2011 by UScitizen
@ rick methvan

I was talking about championing democracy and freedom of speech. Sorry I should have s-p-e-l-l-e-d i-t o-u-t for simple minded folks such as yourself.
20:34 February 10, 2011 by locaxy
@Rebel: My thoughts exactly!
21:37 February 10, 2011 by sgt_doom
"Since 2009? WoW! We've been doing that in the US for hundreds of years!!! "

Negative, US Citizen troll, the US of A has been building foreign factories, processing facilities, infrastructure, etc., for American-based multinationals and corporations to offshore American jobs to, and/or create the new jobs there.

USAID, OPIC, and a host of other ostensibly "US foreign aid" entities, are simply tools of the corporations.

How frigging ignorant can a troll get? I believe you've pioneered new grounds, sonny!

22:05 February 10, 2011 by GLO
WOW... What a racket.....
22:20 February 10, 2011 by Nemesis
And if you step out of line, you are accussed of rape by two lunatics.
23:52 February 10, 2011 by IranianBoy
democracy through internet... sounds nice....but.... first stop your nokia and siemens companies from selling eavesdropping tools to Iranian government so that they can't crack down on protesters and find out how they are organising.... then re establish free education for outside of europe people as it only cost you 70 milliion $ each year according to VHS statistics. middle east needs as much education as democracy..... after that discipline your prosecuter who has chased Assange to the heart of england and has wasted millions of your taxpayer's money on a delusional accusation.

Then you may go with 23million$ budget for democracy....
00:56 February 11, 2011 by Great Scott
I think the money would be better spent on its unemployed, and then they will have some money. Instead of being used as forced labour and working for free.
05:07 February 11, 2011 by NoVaseline
look at how Sweden handles Wikileaks? where's the democracy they talk? There's no vaseline!
05:13 February 11, 2011 by UScitizen

I must be a troll for you and Rick the meth man. It sure works on you two, doean't it? You probably scan the comments on every article just waiting for a post from me so you can try to say something demeaning.

To parapharse your own words: How frigging ignorant can YOU get? I believe you've pioneered new grounds, sonny! You two are letting me control your emotions. Can't you see what power you're giving me?

The best thing you could do is ignore me. But you can't can you? go ahead, reply to this and prove me right. I'll be waiting.......
23:31 February 11, 2011 by old git
Didn't seem to worry them till Moubarak was on his last political legs did it...

and isn't there any subject that doesn't end in personal insults on this website comments page- like 6 year old kids
04:52 February 21, 2011 by gadet

You think that the US increased aid for social media and technical systems to prevent repressive regimes from shutting off the internet. Are you nuts.
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