Monday, May 28, 2007



NEW SCIENTIST - The number of governments that routinely block web sites
is increasing, according to the most comprehensive survey of internet
filtering yet. Meanwhile, the same study suggests that techniques for
blocking undesirable content are growing ever more sophisticated.
Previous reports of government internet filtering have been limited to
specific countries, such as China, Iran and Cuba, says Rafal Rohozinski,
of the Open Net Initiative, which produced the report. . . In its
report, the ONI states that governments in at least 25 countries
regularly block access to internet sites for political, social or
security reasons. It says that Burma, China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and
Vietnam also filter political content, such as sites belonging to
political opposition parties. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tunisia and
Yemen filter for social reasons: for example by blocking access to
pornography, gay and lesbian content and gambling sites. Wider

By comparing their findings to earlier reports, the authors conclude
that filtering is currently increasing worldwide. . . Furthermore, the
team discovered so-called "event-based" filtering - an upsurge in
restrictions during significant political periods such as elections.


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