20 Nov 2005

RSF: Singapore on watch list for online freedom of expression

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF, Reporters Without Borders) has put Singapore (as well as neighbour Malaysia) on the watchlist for countries whose attitude to freedom of expression on the Internet is "worrying". [en français]

The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch

Reporters Without Borders marks the World Summit on the Information Society by presenting 15 countries that are “enemies of the Internet” and pointing to a dozen others whose attitude to it is worrying.

The 15 “enemies” are the countries that crack down hardest on the Internet, censoring independent news sites and opposition publications, monitoring the Web to stifle dissident voices, and harassing, intimidating and sometimes imprisoning Internet users and bloggers who deviate from the regime’s official line.

The “countries to watch” do not have much in common with the "enemies of the Internet." The plight of a Chinese Internet user, who risks prison by mentioning human rights in an online forum, does not compare with the situation of a user in France or the United States. Yet many countries that have so far respected online freedom seem these days to want to control the Internet more. Their often laudable aims include fighting terrorism, paedophilia and Internet-based crime, but the measures sometimes threaten freedom of expression.

[E. D.: The lists are condensed from the article]

The 15 enemies of the Internet
(in alphabetical order)

- Belarus
- Burma
- China
- Cuba
- Iran
- Libya
- The Maldives
- Nepal

- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Syria
- Tunisia
- Turkmenistan
- Uzbekistan
- Vietnam

Countries to watch
(in alphabetical order)

- Bahrain
- Egypt
- European Union
- Kazakhstan
- Malaysia
- Singapore
- South Korea
- Thailand
- United States
- Zimbabwe

[E. D.: The citation is reproduced below.]

- Singapore
The government does not filter the Internet much but is good at intimidating users and bloggers and website editors have very little room for manoeuvre. A blogger who criticised the country’s university system was forced to shut down his blog in May 2005 after official pressure.

E.D.: received from the RSF Internet Freedom Desk. Cross-posted.


Wowbagger said...

Given that both the EU and the US are on that list, this will no doubt give oppressors the excuse that there really is nothing wrong with the present situation.

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