Egypt among Enemies of the Internet 2009

Reporters Without Borders released its annual report on the situation of netizens and cyberspace, the report monitors the most countries trying to tighten their control on the Internet, limiting netizens from access to information and adopting different forms of repression.

The “Enemies of the Internet” list in this report presents the worst violators of freedom of expression on the Net: Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
Reporter Without Borders mentioned on its site "Some of these countries are determined to use any means necessary to prevent their citizens from having access to the Internet: Burma, North Korea, Cuba, and Turkmenistan – countries in which technical and financial obstacles are coupled with harsh crackdowns and the existence of a very limited Intranet. Internet shutdowns or major slowdowns are commonplace in periods of unrest. The Internet’s potential as a portal open to the world directly contradicts the propensity of these regimes to isolate themselves from other countries. Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan have opted for such massive filtering that their Internet users have chosen to practice self-censorship. For economic purposes, China, Egypt, Tunisia and Vietnam have wagered on a infrastructure development strategy while keeping a tight control over the Web’s political and social content (Chinese and Tunisian filtering systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated), and they are demonstrating a deep intolerance for critical opinions. The serious domestic crisis that Iran has been experiencing for months now has caught netizens and the new media in its net; they have become enemies of the regime."

As expected, Egypt is still remaining on the list. The report mention cases of Egyptian bloggers and netizens whom got harassed and arrests by the authorities. I expect the Egyptian regime will escalate the attacks and repression forms on Egyptian netizens in general and bloggers in particular, as we approach several political events this year such as Parliament elections and the Presidential Elections in 2011. [Related Posts: Enemies of the Internet 2008]

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