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Belarus and Bahrain Tagged as Enemies of the Internet

[ 0 ] March 14, 2012 |

To mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, Reporters Without Borders has released its updated annual list of “Enemies of the Internet”…

Belarus and Bahrain join 10 other countries on Reporters Without Borders 2012 list of “Enemies of the Internet.” India and Kazakhstan were added to the group’s second tier watch list, described as “countries under surveillance.”

Improved conditions in Libya and Venezuela led to their removal from the latter list, which denotes countries that are becoming more repressive.

The organization, also known as Reporters Sans Frontieres, cited a 30% year-over-year increase in arrests of internet bloggers, reporters, writers, and activists — with China, Vietnam, and Iran among the worst offenders.

Countries now on the Enemies of the Internet list are: Bahrain, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

The Countries Under Surveillance list includes: Australia, Egypt, Eritrea, France, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

France made the second tier list due to its serious penalties designed to discourage illegal downloading of copyrighted materials. Australia was cited for mandating web filtering systems that target inappropriate content such as child pornography. The group has concerns that Australia’s system would not be operated in a transparent manner — essentially creating the potential for a slippery slope.

Read more about the lists on the Reporters Without Borders site.

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