Global Internet Censorship Increasing

    May 18, 2007

Internet censorship around the globe is becoming more widespread as governments continue to filter content, according to a new report from OpenNet Initiative.

The main targets of censorship are political, social and cultural content, along with services such as Google Maps and Skype.

The primary offenders for filtering political content include Burma, China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam.

The report says," In a growing number of states around the world, internet filtering has huge implications for how connected citizens will be to the events unfolding around them, to their own cultures, and to other cultures and shared knowledge around the world."

The survey examined thousands of Web sites and 120 Internet Service Providers in 41 countries. Out of the 41 countries, 25 revealed evidence of content filtering.

"In five years we have gone from a couple of states doing state-mandated net filtering to 25," said John Palfrey, at Harvard Law School.

Mr. Palfrey added, "What’s regrettable about net filtering is that almost always this is happening in the shadows. There’s no place you can get an answer as a citizen from your state about how they are filtering and what is being filtered."