The annual Internet Enemies Report by anti-censorship organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) paints a gloomy picture of the status if Internet freedom worldwide.

The 39-page Report lists 22 ‘offenders’,and singles out a dozen of them for special disdain…

The 12 ‘Enemies of the Internet’ – Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam — have all transformed their Internet into an Intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing ‘undesirable’ online information.

All these countries distinguish themselves not only by their ability to censor online news and information but also by their virtually systematic persecution of troublesome Internet users. …

Not only is the Internet more and more controlled, but new forms of censorship are emerging based on the manipulation of information. Orchestrating the posting of comments on popular websites or organising hacker attacks is also [a technique] used by repressive regimes to scramble or jam online content.

Australia, which has recently brought in government-mandated Internet content filtering and is preparing to give its law enforcement agencies unprecedented powers to secretly hack into any Australian’s Internet-connected computer, was one of about a dozen other nations which received a (Dis-)Honourable mention from RWB.

One Response to ‘Internet freedom’ a pipe dream?

  1. Evolving Squid
    Mar 12, 2009

    Internet freedom always was a pipe dream. The Internet was invented by the US military – that’s about as unfree as you can get. They slacked the controls and let it connect the world, but it is not now, nor has it ever been free.

    In the old days, it was run by military and research money.

    Now it’s run by commercial interest.

    Governments trying to control pieces of it is just old-school.

    This fantastical ideal of the internet as some place of free love and cuddles and smiles is, quite literally, the dream of people who’ve been smoking too much pipe.

    Internet freedom can’t be preserved because it never existed. All that appeared to be internet freedom was simply laziness on the part of those who control the net. They’re more interested now, so the imagined freedom is goign to be eroded and will disappear.

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