I read an article from BBC a few weeks ago that has been bothering me ever since.
In the May 18th article Global net censorship ‘growing’, the BBC describes the growing trend of Internet filtering.
The level of state-led censorship of the net is growing around the world, a study of Internet filtering by the Open Net Initiative suggests.
The study of thousands of websites across 120 Internet Service Providers found 25 of 41 countries surveyed showed evidence of content filtering.
What I found particularly disturbing was the list of countries that are conducting Internet censoring. Among the unsurprising offenders like China, Burma and Iran were two democratic “free” societies. India and South Korea.
The BBC article is a little misleading because it does not specify what type of sites each country filters. That said, it is disturbing to see the trend increasing government filtering around the world, especially in democratic countries.
The Open Net Initiative accuses India and South Korea of filtering Internet tools only. I still feel it is noteworthy that these free societies are embarking on Internet control on sites that do not break laws.
It is worrisome anytime a democracy begins to censor its citizens from Internet content in any capacity. Often governments look outside their borders to find examples of how to administer the country. Any censorship from a democratic government is at the peril of free individuals throughout the world.
The survey found evidence of filtering in the following countries:
Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burma/Myanmar, China, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen