Censorship on the Internet

censorship

Be irrepressible, an Amnesty International campaign.

>> Haga clic aqui para la versión en Castellano

Chat rooms monitored. Blogs deleted. Websites blocked. Search engines restricted. People imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.

The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. Governments – with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world – are cracking down on freedom of expression …

The web is a great tool for sharing ideas and freedom of expression. However, efforts to try and control the Internet are growing. Internet repression is reported in countries like China, Vietnam, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria. People are persecuted and imprisoned simply for criticising their government, calling for democracy and greater press freedom, or exposing human rights abuses, online.

But Internet repression is not just about governments. IT companies have helped build the systems that enable surveillance and censorship to take place. Yahoo! have supplied email users’ private data to the Chinese authorities, helping to facilitate cases of wrongful imprisonment. Microsoft and Google have both complied with government demands to actively censor Chinese users of their services.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. It is one of the most precious of all rights. We should fight to protect it..

Database of censored material

Amnesty International is working with the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) to help raise awareness of internet censorship around the world.

The ONI is a collaboration among the Citizen Lab, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, the Advanced Network Research Group at Cambridge University, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School UK, and the Oxford Internet Institute, plus partner non- governmental organizations worldwide.

The aim of the ONI is to document empirically patterns of Internet content filtering and surveillance worldwide behind national firewalls over an extended period of time. The ONI employs a unique methodology that combines in-field investigations by partners and associates within the countries under investigation and a suite of technical interrogation tools that probe the Internet directly for forensic evidence of content filtering and surveillance technologies.

Its 11 country reports have documented the scope, scale and sophistication of numerous filtering regimes worldwide, and have helped verify the use of US commercial filtering technologies, such as Smartfilter and Websense that are used in some ways to underpin these regimes. The ONI’s flash map of global filtering shows the results of these investigations.

The work of ONI is supported by the Information Program of the Open Society Institute and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. ONI’s mapping work is supported by the International Development Research Centre (Canada).

The examples of censored material used for Irrepressible.info have been drawn from websites that have been blocked in one of the following countries – China, Iran, Myanmar, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Syria and Vietnam, and are based on latest testing results available from each country.