Who are the 'enemies of the internet'?

Written by Ryan Garside

November 8, 2006 // 10:20 a.m.

Tags: #air #borders #cyber #enemies #force #freedom #internet #of #reporters #space #the #us #without

A human rights group called 'Reporters Without Borders' ( Reporters sans frontières) has released a list of 13 countries they describe as "enemies of the internet", the BBC reports.

The list, which can be seen in more detail here, is made up of these countries (let us know if you live in one of these countries in the forums): Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

Interestingly, the RSF has given detailed descriptions about the countries on the blacklist. They haven't held back either, here is their summary of the internet in North Korea:

"Like last year, North Korea continues to be the world’s worst Internet black hole. Only a few officials are able to access the web, using connections rented from China. The country’s domain name - .nk - has still not been launched and the few websites created by the North Korean government are hosted on servers in Japan or South Korea. It is hard to believe this is simply the result of economic difficulties in a country which today is capable of manufacturing nuclear warheads."

The report contains some interesting facts about the countries who restrict internet usage. Did you know that Syria tortures 'cyber dissidents'? Or that despite there being 17 million Chinese bloggers, governmental filters mean that none of them ever discuss politically sensitive issues? The report emphasises the fact that nearly a third of the world's population live in a country where there is little or no internetpress freedom.

Meanwhile, Daily Tech is reporting that the US Air Force will now have a new division whose sole aim will be to regulate military cyberspace. The US Air Force has assigned senior military personnel to oversee the operation, with the intention of preventing or countering a cyber attack on US military operations.

Should the internet be free? Let us know your view in the forums.

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