Censorship of the internet: China, Myanmar and Iran the most repressive countries
triad of repression.
In 25 Countries in the world internet is subject
to censorship. The worst is Myanmar, followed by China and Iran.
While millions of people use the net daily to communicate or look for
information, tens of governements try to find a way of controlling
them. The report on the censorship of internet, which was made public by OpenNet,
a surveillance association expressly created by
the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Toronto, reveals
that the forms of limitation of the Net keep growing, and with always
greater sophistication. The researchers found three types of
censorship in the 200 thousand contacts in thousands of websites. The
most widespread is political, which is exercised to limit or stop the
spreading of ideas from rival political parties, defenders of human
rights or dissidents. The list of the worst countries places Myanmar,
China and Iran at the top. The second is social censorship, which
does not permit access to contents connected to women’s rights or
homosexual communities. In this case, the most repressive countries
are Iran, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The third type of censorship is
connected to social security issues, meaning that sites connected to
terrorist or “rebel” groups are blocked. In this category the top
three are once again Myanmar, China and Iran.
The most frequent methods of censorship are those that
impose laws forbidding the use of certain terms (“democracy”, for
example, or “human rights”), or filtres on the internet
providers. These filtres are often built by western companies, who
indirectly become accomplices of the censorial policies of some
governments. The best known, SmartFilter, is built by the American
company Secure Computing. The report does not include Cuba and North
Korea in the list, not because these Countries don’t apply
censorship, but because the authors of the report reported that the
safety of their sources could have been endangered during the
last, the Ue.
Last year 62 cyber-dissidents were arrested in China.
Some nations, like Turkmenistan, have banned domestic connections and
have considerably restricted the access to internet cafés.
Myanmar forbids the use of e-mail systems such as Hotmail or Yahoo.
Every five minutes, a scanner monitors all operations carried out in
internet cafés. In a report published last year, Reporters
sans Frontieres denounced not only those states with a reputation for
repressive policies, but also the European Nations’ orientation in
the matter, since they are guilty of leaving the decision of
forbidding, banning and censoring to the companies operating on
internet, “creating- was the comment of RsF – systems of private
law where the computer technician has now taken the magistate’s