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Watching


Big Brother


State-level censorship of the


internet is becoming more common and easier to achieve. But it’s not only the populations of undemocratic countries who should be worried, finds Jim Mortleman


W


estern democracies – where freedom of speech is celebrated as a cornerstone of society –


decry the regimes of countries where the net is routinely monitored and censored. China, Iran and Syria are often cited as the worst offenders, but plenty of others have a poor record, too, including much of Eastern Europe and parts of North Africa, as well as democratic countries like Turkey, Pakistan and India. Internet censorship and monitoring in these countries is not only effective at containing the spread of information that governments deem unpalatable, but frequently also leads to the arrest and persecution of journalists, protesters and political or social dissidents.


32 May/June 2012


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