Internet Censorship Growing

    July 27, 2007

Internet censorship is in more than 20 countries, according to a new report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)"Governing the Internet."

The report highlights case studies of Internet censorship in Kazakhstan, Georgia as well as China, Iran, Sudan and Belarus.

"Recent moves against free speech on the Internet in a number of countries have provided a bitter reminder of the ease with which some regimes, democracies and dictatorships alike, seek to suppress speech that they disapprove of, dislike, or simply fear," the report by the 56-nation OSCE said.

The report is critical of Kazakhstan rules on the Internet saying they "allow for any interpretation" and compare it to Soviet style spying where any group or individual   could be called a threat to the nation and silenced.

According to Reuters, in a speech to the OSCE parliament, Kazakh Information Minister Yermukhamet Yertysbayev said Kazakhstan wanted to build democracy and create an "e-government" improve Internet service and make "our media more free, contemporary and independent."

The OSCE report said Kazakhstan’s monopoly on Internet provider’s discouraged use and that the dial-up service was far more expensive than in Western Europe although the Kazakh incomes are much lower.