În 2011, Netățenii s-au aflat în centrul profundelor schimbări politice petrecute atât în lumea arabă cât și în restul lumii. Ei au opus rezistență de multe ori plătită cu viața celor care doreau să cenzureze Internetul și să oprească circulația informațiilor. În acest timp, în alte țări presupuse „democrate” autoritățile au continuat să dea un exemplu rău prin adoptarea unor măsuri disproporționate de protejare a „drepturilor de autor” sau prin încercarea de a controla traficul după bunul plac. În aceste condiții, Utilizatorii Internetului din țările „libere” au învățat să reacționeze pentru a proteja mediul online de asaltul guvernelor corupte și de companiile invazive. Mai mult ca niciodată până acum, libertatea necesară Informației, Cuvântului, Accesului la Bazele de Date și nu în ultimul rând Accesului la Deschidere a devenit o provocare majoră pentru politicile interne și externe ale tuturor statelor lumii.


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The map of cyber censorship

  • Enemies of Internet Dușmanii Internetului
  • Countries under surveillance Țări în care Internetul se află sub supraveghere


Enemies of Internet

  • Bahrain
      Bahrain offers a perfect example of successful crackdowns, with an information blackout achieved through an impressive arsenal of repressive measures: exclusion of the foreign media, harassment of human rights defenders, arrests of bloggers and netizens (one of whom died behind bars), prosecutions and defamation campaigns against free expression activists, disruption of communications. Use of filtering intensified in reaction to political unrest (…)
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Bahrain »

  • Belarus
      While Belarus sinks into political isolation and an economic slump, President Lukashenko’s regime has been strenghtening its grip on the Web. The Internet ? a mobilization and information platform ? has received the full brunt of the authorities’ brutal crackdown on the opposition. The Internet has played a crucial role in a climate marked by intensified censorship and a hunt for journalists. Foreign ? and particularly Russian ? reporters are now personae non (…)
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Belarus »

  • Burma
      The recent and relative opening of the Burmese regime has resulted in information being more freely circulated on the Internet, despite continued close monitoring. The international community and Burmese human rights activists need to remain vigilant and keep striving for more freedom. One priority is to reform the liberticidal legislative framework. While much progress is still needed, the reforms already underway would be difficult to reverse. The Thein Sein era is off to a troubling (…)
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Burma »

  • China
      The soaring expansion of the ?Participative Web? and related impact on social and political debates are making it harder each day for Chinese censors to do their job. Harsher controls and crackdowns on netizens and their online tools have been symptomatic of the regime’s increasing concern over potential fallouts from Arab Spring and the Internet and social networks’ role as sounding boards. Obsessive controls to counter the specter of Arab Spring China may have the world’s most sophisticated (…)
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China »

  • Cuba
      A digital cold war is being played out against a backdrop of demonizing the Internet and social networks, which are accused of having a destabilising influence and being orchestrated by the American enemy. Will the arrival of the Venezuelan fiber-optic cable call into question the ?rationing? of the Internet, which remains out of reach for the majority of the population? The creation of a tightly controlled Cuban Web 2.0 tends to indicate that the regime has no intention of making any (…)
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Cuba »

  • Iran
      The announced launching of Iran’s ?National Internet? has been widely covered in the media. Meanwhile the authorities have fortified filtering and their technical capacity to closely monitor the Web. Individuals and groups alike have been arrested in order to identify and neutralize dissident networks and intimate bloggers and journalists. For the first time, four netizens have been given the death penalty, and three of them may be executed at any time. Iran’s already harsh repression has (…)
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Iran »

  • North Korea
      The world’s most closed country’s absolute control over the media became evident during the events surrounding the death of Kim Jong-il and the meticulous staging of his succession. Yet official and unofficial telecom markets have been booming. The new leader Kim Jong-un’s policy regarding basic freedoms appears to be a continuation of his father’s, which understandably worries the international community. Kim Jong-iI’s death showed the full extent of the regime’s tight grip on the media and (…)
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North Korea »

  • Saudi arabia
      In 2011, the regime did everything possible to dissuade the population from supporting the arab revolutionary movement. Its rigid opposition to the simmering unrest on the Web caused it to tighten its Internet stranglehold even more to stifle all political and social protests.  Harsh censorship Intolerant of criticism, in the last few years the government has been enforcing harsh censorship through the use of extended filtering bolstered by (…)
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Saudi arabia »

  • Syria
      Bashar Al-Assad’s regime responded with violence when Syrians, inspired by the mass uprisings in the Arab world, took to the streets in March 2011 to demand democratic change. In the weeks that followed, the regime stepped up control of the means of communication and surveillance of dissidents. With the help of its cyber-army, it engaged in a battle of disinformation. Syria’s netizens, the only witnesses still present in the worst-hit areas, continue heroically to risk their lives to inform (…)
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Syria »

  • Turkmenistan
      For the first time, netizens have managed to breach the censorship wall of one of the world’s most closed countries. In response, the regime has targeted them for harsh crackdowns, ready to do whatever it takes to retain its absolute power, even to the point of viewing people with satellite dishes and mobile phones as potential enemies. Hopes that the country would open up with the coming to power of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in 2007 have come to nothing. Turkmenistan, one of (…)
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Turkmenistan »

  • Uzbekistan
      In intensifying censorship and surveillance, and making a pretence of promoting freedom, the Uzbek regime has been attempting to strictly monitor Internet users in order to offset the fallout from Arab Spring, while taking the offensive by exporting its model on a worldwide scale.  Cynical official rhetoric On the occasion of ?Media Workers’ Day? on 27 June 2011, President Karimov asserted that the government ?…fully supports the desire of our fellow (…)
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Uzbekistan »

  • Vietnam
      The regime’s attention is focused on the Arab world and its protest movements. Paranoid Vietnamese authorities have stepped up repression and control to stave off any possibility of a regime collapse, favoring surveillance over increased filtering. Bloggers have been the target off a new wave of arrests. The authorities, aware they cannot impose a complete control of the news, are afraid of an increasingly connected population. Cybercafes are full, smartphones very popular. More than 111 (…)
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Vietnam »

Countries under surveillance

  • Australia
      The government has not abandoned its efforts to win approval for its mandatory national Web filtering system and has persuaded Internet service providers to create a voluntary system. It has just received the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission which may put in question the type of content involved and enforce its application to all media. In parallel, the conclusions of an inquiry into the media, such as the creation of a ?News Media Council? could turn out to be dangerous for (…)
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Australia »

  • Egypt
      The first anniversary of Egypt’s revolution was celebrated in a climate of uncertainty and tension between a contested military power, a protest movement attempting to get its second wind, and triumphant Islamists. Bloggers and netizens critical of the army have been harassed, threatened, and sometimes arrested. Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad was the first prisoner of conscience of the post-Mubarak era. See the Egypt chapter of the 2011 ?Enemies (…)
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Egypt »

  • Eritrea
      The Arab Spring has given new impetus to an increasingly active online diaspora’s hope for change. The regime, which has totally cordoned off the country and continues its indiscriminate repression of the population, is somewhat overwhelmed by the Net’s influence on Eritreans based abroad. It is now waging its propaganda war on social networks. Pro-opposition websites have been targeted for cyberattacks on an unprecedented scale. Self-censorship, difficult Web access, and limitless terror (…)
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Eritrea »

  • France
      The government has taken the exact opposite course from the one laid out in recent court rulings and international recommendations that condemn filtering and cut off Internet access, and has done so in a context of increased pressure on journalists to reveal sources. France must not sacrifice online freedom of expression and Net neutrality for reasons related to security or copyright protection. In a country aspiring to become an Internet leader, the legislative straitjacket that is being (…)
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France »

  • India
      Ever since the 2008 Bombay attacks, the authorities have been intensifying their Internet surveillance and pressure on technical service providers while publicly denying censorship accusations. The national security policy of the world’s largest democracy is undermining online freedom of expression and Internet users’ privacy. An increasingly connected population The Internet is experiencing impressive growth in India. By 2014, the country should have nearly 300 million netizens, as (…)
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India »

  • Kazakhstan
      Kazakhstan, which considers itself a regional model after holding the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010, seems to be straying from its fine promises to embark without detours on the road to cybercensorship. In 2011, a unprecedented social protest movement prolonged by a violent uprising, a wave of odd attacks and the Head of State’s health problems made the authorities even more nervous, causing them to tighten their control over (…)
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Kazakhstan »

  • Malaysia
      Malaysian emulators of Arab Spring caught Kuala Lumpur authorities off guard, but they are using all means possible to quash the Bersih 2.0 protest movement. Preventive arrests, pressures on bloggers and the media, and website blockings during local elections are omens of worse yet to come for the general elections. The campaign is expected to play out primarily on the Internet, which remains a favorite space for expression in a country where the traditional press is regularly muzzled by (…)
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Malaysia »

  • Russia
      The authorities have used the issue of national security to expand Web monitoring and censorship ? even while continuing to promote and develop Internet access for the population at large. The Web has played a key role in the political debate prompted by legislative and presidential elections and in the post-election mobilization of the opposition and civil society. These developments provoked a strong official response. The blogosphere has grown stronger and better organized in the face of (…)
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Russia »

  • South Korea
      While the world’s eyes were riveted on Pyongyang during the transfer of power in North Korea, South Korea clamped down even more on online content related to its neighbor, which continues to expand its Net presence for propaganda purposes. Censorship is also focused on political opinions expressed online ? a critical topic in this electoral year. The National Security Law must be reformed without delay. Content removals soaring Under the conservative government of Lee Myung Bak, who has (…)
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South Korea »

  • Sri Lanka
      2011 was marked by violence, threats and propaganda aimed at journalists and media defenders seen as government critics. Resorting to censorship and disinformation, authorities have blocked access to websites considered unfavourable to the government, claiming legal justifications.   Media registration ? a tool for increased monitoring? On 5 November, the information and media ministry ordered news sites to register with the government, yet another restriction on the free flow of information ? and (…)
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Sri Lanka »

  • Thailand
      The status of Thailand’s online freedom of expression began to deteriorate from the moment the new Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra assumed power in July 2011. Abusive recourse to the politically exploited lèse-majesté law has led to an increase in litigations and strict censorship. The sentencing of Ampon Tangnoppakul, known as ?Uncle SMS? set off a chain of heated reactions in the country and abroad. Apparently the government has forgotten its promises to amend Article 112 of the Thailand (…)
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Thailand »

  • Tunisia
      Dictator Ben Ali’s fall from power had raised hopes that Ammar 404, the censorship system set up by the former regime, would be dismantled. But the latter might rise again from its ashes in the wake of a series of court orders on filtering, while the status of freedom of information remains precarious. Fragile freedom of information worth protecting The Arab Spring, which began in Tunisia, has brought drastic changes throughout the region. However, (…)
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Tunisia »

  • Turkey
      Intense debate has raged around several plans to control the Internet, ranging from an outrageous list of banned keywords to a mandatory centralized filtering system that ended up being optional. Despite relentless pressure, netizens have been mobilizing against the implementation of backdoor censorship on the Web. Read in Turkish / Türkçe Türkiye 2012 Continuous filtering As of February 10, 2012, the website had tallied 15,596 sites suspended by the authorities, either by (…)
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Turkey »

  • United Arab Emirates
      The UAE government has taken advantage of the region’s tense political climate to tighten its control over information and communications in the country. Netizen members of the ?UAE 5? group, incarcerated for several months, learned the hard way that the authorities’ priority is to maintain the regime’s stability, and, if necessary, is fully prepared to set a few harsh examples. Widespread surveillance The Emirates were spared (…)
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United Arab Emirates »