updated 05:25 pm EDT, Fri May 18, 2007
Internet censorship grows
Seen for years as a bastion of free expression, the Internet is quickly becoming restricted by governments worldwide, says a group called the OpenNet Initiative. While less than a handful of countries were engaged in "state-mandated net filtering" in 2002, OpenNet claims that five years later, there are at least 25 governments blocking content, out of a total of 41 countries surveyed. Three reasons for censorship tend to dominate the group's report: maintaining political power, alleged security issues, and enforcing perceived morality.
Offenders cited by OpenNet include China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Surprising entries on the list may include India and South Korea, especially since the latter is often thought of as one of the most progressive countries in the world.
The survey is not, however, considered comprehensive, in good part because studies could only be done in countries where it was safe to do analysis. OpenNet further limited itself to countries where there was "the most to learn about government online surveillance," and likewise, it did not investigate the US or most of Europe, where corporations generally control the infrastructure. [via BBC News]