NEW YORK – Iran, Syria, Cuba, Russia and China are among the 10 worst repressors of the Internet, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists published on Monday.
The CPJ also lists Belarus, Ethiopia and Myanmar as enemies of using the Internet to disseminate the news, as well as Tunisia and Egypt, where “the regimes have changed, but their successors have not categorically broken with past repressive practices.”
The report was presented to coincide with the celebration Tuesday of World Press Freedom Day.
The tactics that the CPJ reveals go from “the state-supported e-mail in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyber-attacks on news Web sites in Belarus,” as well as Iran’s use of “sophisticated tools to destroy anti-censorship technology” and the Ethiopian government’s “monopolistic control over the Internet.”
The author of the report, Danny O’Brien, coordinator of the CPJ’s Internet campaigns, said in the text that the countries mentioned and “many other repressive regimes” also use more traditional techniques such as arbitrary arrest and violence against dissident bloggers.
The CPJ denounces such practices as denying the population access to the Web (Cuba), monopolizing the Internet (Ethiopia), attacking Web sites administered from exile (Myanmar), arresting bloggers (Syria), censoring e-mail and social networks (as during the protests in Tunisia) and interrupting the service (as in Egypt during its revolution). EFE