Originally published: March 17, 2010
Last updated: March 17, 2010 - 9:44pm
The fight for free access to information is being played out to an ever greater extent on the Internet. The emerging general trend is that a growing number of countries are attempting to tighten their control of the Net, but at the same time, increasingly inventive netizens demonstrate mutual solidarity by mobilizing when necessary.
The "Enemies of the Internet" list drawn up again this year by Reporters Without Borders presents the worst violators of freedom of expression on the Net: Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
Among the countries "under surveillance" are several democracies: Australia, because of the upcoming implementation of a highly developed Internet filtering system, and South Korea, where draconian laws are creating too many specific restrictions on Web users by challenging their anonymity and promoting self-censorship. Turkey and Russia have just been added to the "Under Surveillance" list. Other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, Belarus and Thailand are also maintaining their "under surveillance" status, but will need to make more progress to avoid getting transferred into the next "Enemies of the Internet" list. Thailand, because of abuses related to the crime of "lèse-majesté"; the Emirates, because they have bolstered their filtering system; Belarus because its president has just signed a liberticidal order that will regulate the Net, and which will enter into force this summer - just a few months before the elections.
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