Enemies of the Internet - Countries under Surveillance

TitleEnemies of the Internet - Countries under Surveillance
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleReporters without Borders publish study on internet censorhsip
Year of Publication2010
Number of Pages64 pp.
PublisherReporters without Borders
Accession Number1517

(The following text has been excerpted from the introduction:)
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 attemptimg to tighten their control of the Net, but at the same time, increasingly inventive netizens demonstrate mutual solidarity by mobilizing when necessary. In authoritarian countries in which the traditional media are state-controlled, the Internet offers a unique space for discussion and information-sharing, and has become an ever more important engine for protest and mobilization. The Internet is the crucible in which repressed civil societies can revive and develop.
Yet times have changed since the Internet and the new media were the exclusive province of dissidents and opponents. The leaders of certain countries have been taken aback by a proliferation of new technologies and even more by the emergence of a new form of public debate. They had to suddenly cope with the fact that "Colored Revolutions" had become "Twitter Revolutions." The vast potential of cyberspace can no longer be reserved for dissenting voices. Censoring political and social content with the latest technological tools by arresting and harassing netizens, using omnipresent surveillance and ID registration which compromise surfer anonymity - repressive governments are acting on their threats.
Netizens are being targeted at a growing rate. For the first time since the creation of the Internet, a record number of close to 120 bloggers, Internet users and cyberdissidents are behind bars for having expressed themselves freely online.The world's largest netizen prison is in China,which is far out ahead of other countries with 72 detainees, followed by Vietnam and then by Iran, which have all launched waves of brutal attacks on websites in recent months.
The outcome of the cyber-war between netizens and repressive authorities will also depend upon the effectiveness of the weapons each camp has available: powerful filtering and surveillance systems for decrypting e-mails, and ever more sophisticated proxies and censorship circumvention tools such as Tor, VPNs, Psiphon, and UltraReach. The latter are developed mainly thanks to the solidarity of netizens around the globe. For example, thousands of Iranians use proxies originally intended for Chinese surfers.
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.

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