Cyber-dissident reportedly arrested by Libya

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper

Reporters Without Borders says a 52-year-old bookseller was arrested by Libyan authorities for publishing criticism of the government on a Web site based in the United Kingdom.

The press freedom organization said cyber-dissident Abdel Razak Al Mansouri was detained in Tobruk, Libya on Jan. 12. It has had no word about Al Mansouri since.

Reporters Without Borders has chronicled a growing list of cyber crackdowns against bloggers and cyber-journalists around the world in the last year. In a statement, the group said Libya's government "already control all the traditional media and now they are trying to gag the Internet, the last window on the outside world still accessible to Libyan citizens."

Al Mansouri began posting articles about social conditions inside Libya last year. I've left a message with the Libyan Mission to the U.N. for comment. (There's been no official Libyan embassy since it got closed down in 1981.) If I hear back, I'll let you know.