Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Privacy and Courage

I met Hossein Derakhshan at Blognashville. He and I respectfully disagree about the value of privacy to bloggers in oppressive regimes. He points out (correctly) that a blogger who has the courage to use his or her own name gains credibility. While I don’t disagree, I think there are people out there who don’t blog because of the risk. And I’d like to help them.

But there’s a whole next level of courage, and that’s when a critic of a regime goes home to cover events. And as Wired News points out:

Soon he hopes to head back to Iran. On June 17, Iranians will go to the polls to elect a president. Derakhshan wants to be there to post reports on his blog, Editor: Myself ( “I have this little window where I can go home,” he says, eyeing the retro-punks squeezing past the table on their way to the bar. “But it will still be very dangerous for me. On one hand, Iran will be on its best behavior because of all the foreign press covering the election. On the other hand, all it would take is one week of torture to give me years of nightmares.”

So, Hossein, my hat’s off to you, and I wish you an enjoyable and safe journey, and an uneventful flight home.