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Nations Named ‘Enemies of the Internet’

As part of its 24-hour online demonstration against online censorship, international watchdog organization Reporters Without Borders has released a list of 13 nations it dubs “enemies of the Internet” for restricting speech and suppressing freedom of expression on the Internet. And the organization is also inviting visitors to sound off to Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang regarding the company’s involvement in the Chinese Internet market.

Reporters Without Borders publishes its list of “Internet enemies” every year, but 2006 marks the first time the publication has been accompanied by an online protest. New to the list this year is Egypt, which has been added due to its arrest and detention of three bloggers in the last year; past “enemies” Libya, the Maldives, and Nepal have all been removed from the top 13, although Reporters Without Borders still considers Libyan strongman Maummar Gaddafi to be a “predator of press freedom.”

According to Reporters Without Borders, more than 60 cyber-dissidents are currently imprisoned around the world for expressing themselves online, and in manby countries citizens can be imprisoned for what they post to a Web site or send to a mailing list. The organization hopes to raise global awareness of the situation and pressure regimes to expand online freedoms.

The United States is currently tied for 53rd place (with Botswana, Croatia, and Tonga) on the Reporters Without Borders index of press freedom. Tied for first place? Finland, iceland, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Here is this year’s list of 13 “enemies of the Internet;” details behind the listings are available from the RSF Web site.

Reporters Without Borders “Enemies of the Internet”

  • Belarus
  • Burma
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

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