Reporters Without Borders Names “Internet Enemies”

    March 13, 2009

PR reps at Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft can breathe a small sigh of relief; in a new document from Reporters Without Borders titled "Internet Enemies," they’re not among the things identified as foes.  It even looks like Reporters Without Borders might be starting to regard them as allies. 

Yahoo Logo

Reporters Without Borders stated, "By signing the Global Network Initiative, the US firms Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft publicly said that they wanted to respect their customers’ freedom of expression worldwide.  How much they may in reality defy the demands of authorities in countries to which they provide services remains to be seen.  But it will no longer be as easy for governments of these countries to obtain confidential information about their citizens."

So Reporters Without Borders is, at least for the time being, trying to give the three big companies the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, it’s placed the ruling parties of Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam on the opposing side of the censorship fight, in case you’re wondering.  And perhaps not coincidentally, a Yodel Anecdotal piece posted yesterday describes Yahoo’s work in this last country.

Reporters Without Borders considers the governments of Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, Eritrea, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Zimbabwe to be "under surveillance."