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Global internet censorship on the rise

May 20th, 2007 . by Matt

Of course. The internet is the enemy of powerful elites that have spent a lot of time and money in controlling what kind of information people get to see. Via IT News.

OpenNet Initiative finds 26 governments blocking access to ‘sensitive’ sites.

Web censorship by governments for political, social or ‘national security’ reasons is increasing, according to a global survey by the OpenNet Initiative.

John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School, believes the survey shows that online censorship is growing around the world.

“Some regulation is to be expected as the medium matures, but filtering and surveillance can seriously erode civil liberties and privacy, and stifle global communications,” he said.

The survey focused on geographical areas, such as Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and found that 26 of the 41 countries surveyed block or filter internet content.

According to the study, censorship is expanding into new countries and becoming more sophisticated over time.

Countries are not only blocking websites that show pornographic pictures, information about human rights or YouTube videos, but applications such as Skype and Google Maps.

The study found three primary rationales for filtering:

Politics and Power leading to the filtering of political opposition groups, common in many of the countries surveyed

Social Norms leading to filtering of subjects deemed offensive to social norms, such as pornography, gay and lesbian content and gambling, also common in many of the countries surveyed.

Security Concerns leading to the filtering of sites that could endanger national security, such as websites of separatist and radical groups including the Muslim Brotherhood in some countries in the Middle East.

The report claimed that Iran, China and Saudi Arabia not only filter a wide range of topics, but block a large amount of content related to those topics.

South Korea’s filtering efforts are very narrow in scope, but heavily censor one topic: North Korea.

Countries engaged in substantial politically motivated filtering include Burma, China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia, and Vietnam, according to the OpenNet Initiative.

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tunisia and Yemen engage in substantial social content filtering, while Burma, China, Iran, Pakistan and South Korea have the most encompassing national security filtering, targeting websites related to border disputes, separatists and extremists.

No evidence of filtering was found in 14 countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, West Bank and Gaza, Malaysia, Nepal, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, many of which might be expected to filter internet content.


10 Responses to “Global internet censorship on the rise”

  1. comment number 1 by: General Tiger

    while Burma, China, Iran, Pakistan and South Korea have the most encompassing national security filtering, targeting websites related to border disputes, separatists and extremists.

    I hope idiots don’t think this means SK is filtering websties of border disputes. *Smirk*


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  3. comment number 3 by: pacifist

    South Korea’s filtering efforts are very narrow in scope, but heavily censor one topic: North Korea.

    I wonder whether this topic “North Korea” includes anti-NK and Takeshima/Dokdo.
    South Korean governments were anti-NK before but since 金大中’s government they turned into pro-NK, there is no reasons to block pro-NK sites for the government now.

  4. comment number 4 by: General Tiger

    pacifist:

    I wonder whether this topic “North Korea” includes anti-NK and Takeshima/Dokdo.
    South Korean governments were anti-NK before but since 金大中’s government they turned into pro-NK, there is no reasons to block pro-NK sites for the government now.

    I’ll tell you this again: SK DOESN’T block any pro-Takeshima websites because it’s pro-Takeshima! If it did, I wouldn’t be albe to search through such sites!
    .
    And the government being “pro-NK” cannot overcome the National Security Law.
    .
    pacifist, stop being so gullible, listening to the anti-Koreans trying to spam SK as the same kind of dictatorship it once was.

  5. comment number 5 by: pacifist

    General Tiger,
    .
    Then, I must ask you why a Japanese website cannot access from Korea while it is accessable from Japan?
    .
    And if Korean government is not pro-NK, why the president is anti-USA and anti-Japan? (These two countries are enemies for NK.) Doesn’t his policy profit NK?

  6. comment number 6 by: General Tiger

    pacifist:

    Then, I must ask you why a Japanese website cannot access from Korea while it is accessable from Japan?

    Here’s my answer, written in https://www.occidentalism.org/?p=609:
    That’s why I believe it’s being blocked by the Japanese side, probably be the people who runs the forum: SK can’t block any foreign sites legally unless it’s caught under the National Security Law or any small laws that’s against porn, violence, etc.
    .
    Also, about the idiotic “liberal” Roh: Helping NK profit isn’t the same as being pro-NK. Think about this: Is Saudi Arabia being pro-Iran if they are anti-US/UK?

  7. comment number 7 by: Ken

    Matt,
    Please excuse a little off-topic but I sympathize Estonia which is syber-attacked by Russia from historical issue because the situation is similar to Japan.
    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20070521-00000011-san-int

  8. comment number 8 by: kjeff

    Ken,
    Estonia = Japan, Russia = Korea?

  9. comment number 9 by: T_K

    Ken,
    The situation is somewhat similar, since Kremlin offered no argument other than vague threats and bullying.
    The view in Estonia is that the Soviets were not liberators. “Correcting” this view by inciting riots and cyber-attacks is hardly fruitful.

  10. comment number 10 by: Ken

    kjeff,
    I meant liberalist vs totalitarian but do you have a guilty conscience?
    T_K,
    Thanks for your assent.
    I wonder why this deed is not regarded serious though I/N is getting the one of important ‘life line’ (I hate this Ja-nglish).