Democracy group report warns of potential for anti-Internet clampdown : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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Democracy group report warns of potential for anti-Internet clampdown
Tuesday 2 May 2000

As the Internet becomes increasingly accessible globally, more governments may try to control online news agencies by creating restraints to online communication, a pro-democracy group warns.

In a report released last week, Freedom House said: "The explosion of news and information on the World Wide Web is tempting governments ... to consider restricting content on the Internet."

The group, which is based in Washington DC, said that 45 countries were already restricting Internet access while more were taking further steps "on the pretext of protecting the public from pornography, subversive material or violations of national security".

When Vladimir Putin was appointed to be Russia's president last year, the former high-ranking KGB official forced Internet service providers to install surveillance equipment, the organisation said.

Freedom House also cited the increasing number of "cyber-dissidents" imprisoned in China and the restriction of web access to government servers in several Middle Eastern nations. But governments should have some role in watching over the Internet, a Freedom House official said.

"The electronic infrastructure should be monitored to prevent monopolisation of the keys to accessing information and to insure maximum volume and diversity of content," study coordinator Leonard Sussman said.

"But government must keep its hands off Internet content."

Overall, the study of electronic and print news media found nearly two-thirds of countries restricted press freedom last year.


Posted out of interest.
It was announced this week that our local government was buying our regional ISP with Federal and ratepayer funding. At first blush this seems a novel idea, but I have an interest in another ISP that thinks this is unbalanced competition favouring the Government dudes. Now why do you think they want to own a dial-up shebang? Hmmmmmm, Hey?

Regards from Down Under

-- Pieter (, May 06, 2000

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