Internet censorship has been a hot topic for quite a while. When world governments try to censor what their citizens can view online, people naturally are not going to be happy. Take China for instance, who will sensor any content related to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 (oops their goes our Chinese traffic). Russia is also a major culprit, especially in the midst of the conflict with Ukraine, which saw the government block several influential Livejournal blogs related to the Crimean crisis. North Korea, I guess you could say, is the worse of them all. Citizens of that secluded nation have no access to the internet what-so-ever.
All this has led one of the leaders within the virtual private network space, HidemyAss.com to launch an initiative to raise money and bring attention to internet censorship world wide. The company has launched a website, and along with it a new protest movement called Thepussycatriot.org, which bills itself as ‘Cats Against Cyber Censorship’.
The movement is part comedic, and part serious, as you can tell from the mission statement displayed on their site:
“From the very heart of the Internet we raise our banner with #ThePussycatRiot: a new protest movement to unite the cats of the world and their owners in opposition to cyber censorship. We aim to raise awareness of the oppressive regimes preventing people from freely enjoying the boundless wealth of mankind’s innovation and creativity… And cat videos.”
As part of the movement, The Pussycat Riot has used 3D printing to create some pretty impressive cat scratching posts. A team of artists spent over 200 combined hours creating these cat toys, which are 1.5 foot tall representations, of both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The scratching posts’ bodies are constructed with hessian rope, and the faces are 3D printed, then meticulously painted. The ability for the artists to 3D print the faces of these men has allowed for a very realistic representation of them both.
“To paraphrase its creator, the internet is for everyone. Stated Cian McKenna-Charley, marketing director at HideMyAss.com. “But try telling that to the rulers of countries who attempt to ‘own’ the net and control their citizens through censorship. Whether it is Turkey’s and Venezuela’s bans on YouTube and Twitter, the ‘great firewall of China’, or Russia’s ‘law on bloggers’ and WiFi curbs, internet censorship is an indefensible attack on civil liberties and it must be stopped. The internet loves cats, with millions of feline videos and images shared online every day all around the world, and even annual internet cat video festivals held to celebrate the best memes and virals. To us the cat is a symbol of freedom, and of a fair and neutral internet.”
If you would like your cat to viciously claw at Putin or Jong Un, it will cost you approximately $7,460. Any funds generated from the sale of these ridiculously expensive cat toys will go to the charity Index on Censorship. The Pussycat Riot also offers several other unique products which have not been 3D printed. These include litter trays with portraits of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
Let’s hear your thoughts on these cat scratching posts, and this movement in general, in the 3D printed Putin/Jong Un forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below featuring cats in action with their new toys.
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