According to a report from World Information Access, an organization based at the University of Washington, that’s happened to 64 people since 2003.

Only 64? I would have expected the number to be much higher. And the researchers themselves admit that the exact statistics are hard to pin down.

It acknowledged that the true number of bloggers arrested could be far higher than the total it found as, in some cases, it proved hard to verify if an arrest had taken place and on what grounds.

For instance, it said the Committee to Protect Bloggers has published information about 344 people arrested in Burma – many of whom are thought to be be bloggers – but the WIA could not verify all the reports.

While you might expect to see people picked up for speaking out in places like Burma and Egypt, the study also reports that some of those 64 were jailed in the US, Canada, and Britain.

This issue would be a great one to discuss with students, especially with those who already have a web presence.

Is there any reason why a government should fear the blog posts of one of their citizens enough to put them in jail?

I can’t think of one but for some of our “leaders”, I suppose that’s a rhetorical question.