Oppressive Countries Block Web Sites

Posted by Vectro 21 June 2010

40 countries engage in Internet Censorship. They restrict access to many popular web sites which people in free countries can visit at any time and take for granted. Surprisingly, some American networking companies have installed systems in foreign countries which actually help to facilitate this violation of human rights.

The list of countries know to engage in Internet Censorship is as follows:

  1. China *
  2. Iran *
  3. Myanmar
  4. Syria
  5. Tunisia
  6. Vietnam *
  7. Oman
  8. Saudi Arabia *
  9. Sudan
  10. Tunisia *
  11. United Arab Emirates
  12. Yemen
  13. North Korea *
  14. South Korea (only blocks information about North Koerea).
  15. Burma *
  16. Cuba *
  17. Egypt *
  18. Syria *
  19. Turkmenistan *
  20. Uzbekistan *
  21. Bahrain
  22. Belarus
  23. Belgium
  24. Brazil
  25. Chile
  26. Columbia
  27. Croatia
  28. Estonia
  29. Fiji
  30. Pakistan
  31. India
  32. Malaysia
  33. Jordan
  34. Morocco
  35. Norway
  36. Russia
  37. Singapore
  38. Slovenia
  39. Thailand
  40. Turkey

* = Reporters Without Borders considers these countries to be “enemies of the Internet”.

One of the biggest offenders is China. According to Amnesty International, Chinese Internet activity is heavily monitored and people can be arrested and in some cases jailed or executed for using free speech to spread scientific information and political views. It has become difficult for large U.S. companies to do business. Some of them have even bowed down and restricted access to Chinese users per government request.

The Burmese government blocks sites which express dissident views or opposition to their government. In particular, websites advocating democracy in Burma are targeted. For a brief period in 2007, all Internet access was completely disabled. Use of a modem without authorization can result in a 15 year prison sentence.

Cuba has the lowest rate of computer owners per inhabitant in Latin America. Citizens often access the Internet via public access points which are heavily monitored.

Iran not only restricts anti-government free speech, they also suppress women’s rights information. Pornography and political blogs are strictly prohibited as well. Punishments can include imprisonment. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are amongst the list of sites which have been blocked at one point or another.

North Korea controls Net activity enough that it is practically used primarily as a propaganda tool. All content hosted in the country is controlled by the government. Routine browsing activities are watched extensively.

These are just a few examples of censorship on the Internet and its influence on limiting Human Rights. The issue is extensive and has global reach. Proxies are essential in allowing the citizens of these oppressive nations to access information freely and share ideas.

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