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Question: Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace? CPNN article: World Press Freedom Day
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 1999,17:00

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

World Press Freedom Day
The Quest for Freedom of Information in Nigeria
Lancement du réseau de journalistes pour la paix et la sécurité en Afrique
Launch of the network of journalists for peace and security in Africa (Netpeace)
Wikipedia Blackout Protests Threat to Internet Freedom
Blackout de Wikipedia pour protester contre l'atteinte a la liberté d'expression sur Internet
Perú : El Instituto de Defensa Legal gana Premio por la Paz 2012
Peru: The Legal Defense Institute Wins the 2012 Peace Prize
L’UNESCO et le Ministère de l’intérieur de la Tunisie coopèrent pour améliorer la sécurité des journalistes
UNESCO partners with Tunisian Ministry of the Interior to improve safety of journalists
Las publicaciones de la UNESCO, disponibles de forma gratuita como parte de la nueva política de acceso abierto de la Organización
UNESCO to make its publications available free of charge as part of a new Open Access policy
Palestine: Le Centre de la paix organise une rencontre sur la liberté d'expression
Palestine: The Center for Peace organizes a meeting about freedom of expression
UNESCO conference urges UN to include free expression in post-2015 development goals
Wikipedia Summit “Wikimania” comes to London - Largest ever gathering
Video: Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & David Miranda Call for Global Privacy Treaty
United Nations: Whistleblowers Need Protection
Open Data – Still Closed to Latin American Communities
US: Privacy Activists Rally Around Apple in ‘Most Important Tech Case in a Decade’
Clasificación Mundial de la Libertad de Prensa 2016: la paranoia de los dirigentes frente a los periodistas
Classement mondial de la liberté de la presse 2016 : la paranoïa des dirigeants contre les journalistes
2016 World Press Freedom Index ­– leaders paranoid about journalists
USA: On Strip Searches and Press Freedom in North Dakota

For articles since 2016, click here .
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David Adams
Posted: Aug. 21 2012,14:55

Perhaps the simplest way to illustrate the essential importance of free flow of information for a culture of peace is to discuss the importance of the control of information for the culture of war.

Here are excerpts from an Washington Post investigation two years ago entitled Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control.  To read the original, click here.

"* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.

* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year - a volume so large that many are routinely ignored." . . .

"Every day across the United States, 854,000 civil servants, military personnel and private contractors with top-secret security clearances are scanned into offices protected by electromagnetic locks, retinal cameras and fortified walls that eavesdropping equipment cannot penetrate. . .

Much of the information about this mission is classified. That is the reason it is so difficult to gauge the success and identify the problems of Top Secret America, including whether money is being spent wisely. The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 21/2 times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn't include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs."

As we said in the draft Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace that we sent from UNESCO to the UN General Assembly in 1998:

"98. It is vital to promote transparency in governance and economic decision-making and to look into the proliferation of secrecy justified in terms of 'national security', 'financial security', and 'economic competitiveness'. The question is to what extent this secrecy is compatible with the access to information necessary for democratic practice and social justice and whether, in some cases, instead of contributing to long-term security, it may conceal information about processes (ecological, financial, military, etc.) which are a potential threat to everyone and which need therefore to be addressed collectively."
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