Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet censorship

click on the image to enlarge
As you can see in the map drawn with the data of the latest report by Reporters Without Borders, most countries promote some kind of cyber-censorship. Besides the 12 countries listed as the so-called “Internet enemies” by Reporters Without Borders (Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam), there are many other countries which advocate for freedom of speech against any kind of censorship but place restrictions on the access to the Net. Some of these countries, like Australia, are under surveillance by organisations against censorship, in fear of forthcoming laws to set up a filtering system.
Some Internet surfers manage to get around censorship and gain access to forbidden web sites or publish their own stuff thanks to the many existing tools and programmes to bypass Internet censorship. But penalties for this kind of offence are often too serious, so people do not risk it. Reporters Without Borders registered more than 70 cases of people imprisoned to publish some posts against their governments, specially in China, Vietnam and Iran. And the governments of these countries manage to discover cyber-dissidents thanks to the collaboration of large Internet corporations, which seem to have no problems informing on surfers’ activities, in exchange for being allowed to make good business in the country.
Sources:
  1. Reporters Without Borders report on Internet censorship (from page 138 onwards) (in Spanish): http://files.reporterossinfronteras.webnode.es/200000189-ea364eb304/INFORME_2009_CASTELLANO.pdf
  2. Reporters Without Borders web site, page devoted to Internet: http://en.rsf.org/internet.html
  3. Web site on Internet censorship and advice on how to bypass it: http://en.cship.org/wiki/Main_Page


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