Less bizarre than it is is alarming – international internet freedoms have been under attack for over two decades. Some of the nations considered “enemies of the internet” may surprise you.
Reporters Without Borders is an international non profit organization that protects journalists and their mission to provide news to the people. Over the years their scope has expanded to index and rank basic and simple freedoms for people in each country on the internet along with special reports of certain regimes suppressing certain new evidence as it happens I.E. Iran suppressing information about it’s COVID-19 numbers earlier this year (2020).
RWG is just one of the three major contributors to another non profit, OpenNet Initiative (ONI) who provides detailed report cards that separates nations internet freedoms into four categories: Pervasive Censorship or Surveillance, Substantial censorship surveillance, Selective censorship and surveillance and Little or no censorship or surveillance.
Countries deemed PERVASIVE is “….is engaged in mass surveillance of the Internet, and retaliates against citizens who circumvent censorship or surveillance with imprisonment or other sanctions.”
Countries included in the SUBSTANTIAL subcategory are “.. countries where a number of categories are subject to a medium level of filtering or many categories are subject to a low level of filtering.
SELECTIVE includes countries where a small number of specific sites are blocked or censorship targets a small number of categories or issues and LITTLE OR NO CENSORSHIP is pretty self explanatory.
In this first blog entry we will be only focusing on the nations deemed PERVASIVE. Sorting these countries by continent by their designated category: In part three we will discuss internet freedom in the nations of the Americas.
PERVASIVE CENSORSHIP AND SURVEILLANCE
Listed an enemy of the internet by RWB in 2011 Cuba’s internet access is extremely low due to the lack of computer population on the island. What few internet access points Cubans are allowed are all government ports where their activity is monitored by the state. The Committee To Protect Journalists has included Cuba in its top ten list of nations that have the most censored internet in the world.
Although located as partly free by Freedom House the level of access to the internet is relatively unrestricted but despite that the level of elf censorship is suspect on the Venezuelan net.
In December 2010 the government approved a law named, “Social Responsibility in Television, Radio and Electronic Media” (Ley de Responsabilidad Social en Radio, Televisión y Medios Electrónicos)
The law is intended to filter out content that could entice felonies, create distress or question the legitimate constituted authority. Fines for breaking this law is 10% of a person’s annual income and has been highly criticized for encouraging self censorship and limiting free speech.
The next installment will be on internet freedom in Europe.
For as much flack it receives (and often deserves) the “Dark Web“ has offered a safer place for reporters, whistleblowers and journalists in oppressive regimes. For many areas of the world brave men and women risk their lives every single day to report the truth. To keep their fellow countrymen informed – to give the people the power to make the right choice for themselves. All of us must protect these people risking everything to deliver us fair and accurate reports on the world around us. – DC
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