Friday, May 1, 2009

Worst Countries to be a Blogger


New York, April 30, 2009—With a military government that severely restricts Internet access and imprisons people for years for posting critical material, Burma is the worst place in the world to be a blogger, the Committee to Protect Journalists says in a new report. CPJ’s “10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger” also identifies a number of countries in the Middle East and Asia where Internet penetration has blossomed and government repression has grown in response.

“Bloggers are at the vanguard of the information revolution and their numbers are expanding rapidly,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “But governments are quickly learning how to turn technology against bloggers by censoring and filtering the Internet, restricting online access and mining personal data. When all else fails, the authorities simply jail a few bloggers to intimidate the rest of the online community into silence or self-censorship.”

Relying on a mix of detentions, regulations, and intimidation, authorities in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Egypt have emerged as the leading online oppressors in the Middle East and North Africa. China and Vietnam, where burgeoning blogging cultures have encountered extensive monitoring and restriction, are among Asia’s worst blogging nations. Cuba and Turkmenistan, nations where Internet access is heavily restricted, round out the dishonor roll.


In consultation with Internet experts, CPJ developed eight questions to assess blogging conditions worldwide. The questions:

  • Does a country jail bloggers?
  • Do bloggers face harassment, cyber-attacks, threats, assaults, or other reprisals?
  • Do bloggers self-censor to protect themselves?
  • Does the government limit connectivity or restrict access to the Internet?
  • Are bloggers required to register with the government or an ISP and give a verifiable name and address before blogging?
  • Does a country have regulations or laws that can be used to censor bloggers?
  • Does the government monitor citizens who use the Internet?
  • Does the government use filtering technology to block or censor the Internet?

Based on these criteria, CPJ regional experts nominated countries for this list. The final ranking was determined by a poll of CPJ staff and outside experts.

Funny, Thailand meets all the criteria and actually has a worst record than some of the countries listed.


fall said...

Thaienews got blocked... again.
Blocked... unblocked... blocked... can't they decide?

David Higgs said...

Thailand contracts for surveillance tec
ARLINGTON, Va., May 1 (UPI) -- The Royal Thai Army has contracted Aria International Inc. for the delivery of surveillance and communications technologies and training services.

Virginia-based Aria was selected by the Royal Thai Army following a real-time demonstration of the company's surveillance and communications system.

Under the $9.7 million deal, Aria will provide Thailand with a manned airship and helicopter imaging and communications systems and a mobile command-and-control vehicle among other surveillance and communications upgrades and training services.

"The employment of a manned airship and upgraded helicopters equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance and communications systems provides the Royal Thai Army another system with the necessary capabilities it requires to counter the increased activity and threats of crime, drug trafficking and terrorism," Mike Crosby, Aria International president, said in a statement.