Net freedom threatened by global filtering rise, report claims

Web censorship on the rise

The BBC reports that a new study from research film Open Net Initiative claims that state-led internet censorship is becoming even more prevalent, with countries such as China leading the way.

The report, which investigated thousands of websites and over 100 internet service providers, found that 25 of the 41 countries surveyed showed evidence of some kind of web filtering. Sites that were typically blocked include Skype and Google Maps.

These results compare poorly with a similar study carried out in 2002, which found that only “a couple” of states were actively censoring.

The report said: "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."

Countries which carry out the broadest range of filtering included Burma, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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