Donations for a good cause

You still got some money left after buying all those Christmas presents? How about donating some of it for a good cause:

  • Wikipedia

    Wikipedia is entering 2007 as one of the 10 most visited websites in the world. That's a great proof of our success. However, with this success comes a new set of challenges and responsibilities. As we plan for the future of Wikipedia and all of the Wikimedia projects, our two most important goals now are the reliability of our content and the long-term sustainability of every project in which we are involved.

    To meet these goals we have a lot of work to do, so I am asking for your help. In the coming year, the Wikimedia Foundation anticipates dramatically increasing spending to keep up with server and traffic capacity demands, add new staff on the organizational level, improve our software and develop methods to better ensure high quality content, all while making progress toward our goal of giving free knowledge to everyone.

    -- Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation

  • Creative Commons

    It's once again time to show your support for Creative Commons. Digital technologies are connecting people in ways that were never before possible – but that network is fragile. Creative Commons needs your support to help enable a participatory culture – a culture in which everyone can actively engage in the creativity that surrounds us. We need your support to assure access to cultural, scientific, and educational content that has been pre-cleared for use by its authors.

  • Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.

    -- Eben Moglen in his FSF year end video appeal (OGG, 24 MB)

  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

    EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.

  • Tor: anonymity online

    Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features.

Or how about some organizations not directly related to Free Culture or Free Software?

  • Amnesty International (AI)

    Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

  • Red Cross

    The International Red Cross (and Red Crescent Movement) is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. - an Amnesty International campaign against Internet censorship

Let me take a quick break from all the technical posts to turn to a more political topic for a minute.

Amnesty International has recently started the campaign against Internet censorship, which promotes freedom of information and expression, as well as human rights:

Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.
The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments – with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world – are cracking down on freedom of expression. Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer, is launching a campaign to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

There are many ways you can help, e.g. by

  • Signing the pledge on Internet freedom. So far, more than 16.000 people have already signed (in the first few days). In November, the results of the pledge will be presented to governments and companies attending a UN conference to discuss the future of the Internet. The more people sign the pledge, the clearer the message will be they will get from the people (us).
  • Undermine censorship "by publishing irrepressible fragments of censored material on your own site. The more people take part, the more we can defeat unwarranted censorship and create an unstoppable network of protest". The small box on the right contains a random selection of such material. You can easily add such a box to your website via simple cut'n'pasting.

Btw, the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) has an interesting (Flash-based) Internet Filtering Map, showing where in the world information is filtered/censored at which level...

Fore more information, you might also want to read this BBC NEWS article.

And finally, here's the whole text of the pledge. Repeat after me:

I believe the Internet should be a force for
political freedom, not repression. People have
the right to seek and receive information and to
express their peaceful beliefs online without
fear or interference.
I call on governments to stop the unwarranted
restriction of freedom of expression on the
Internet – and on companies to stop helping them do it.

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