Ten Most Dangerous Places to be a Blogger
According to a report presented by the 'Committee to protect Journalists,' bloggers working in regions like Iran, Myanmar and Syria work under perhaps the most suppressive conditions in the world. They're forced to face obstacles suchas intimidation, direction and even imprisonment.
The Committee of Journalists issued a list depicting the "10 worst countries to be a blogger" in order to raise some attention toward online oppression. This was in connection with the World Press Freedom Day held on Sunday.
According to the group's director, Joel Simon, "Bloggers are at the vanguard of the information revolution, and their numbers are expanding rapidly, but governments are quickly learning how to turn technology against bloggers by censoring and filtering the Internet, restricting online access and mining personal data."
He said, "When all else fails, the authorities simply jail a few bloggers to intimidate the rest of the online community into silence or self-censorship."
The Burmese authorities can monitor all emails and block all the websites of their opposing political parties. They control communication in most ways and use suppressive methods to halt freedom of speech, according to the report (citing research group OpenNet Initiative).
Myanmar (also known as Burma) is the worst place to be a blogger, according the committee. Bloggers are thrown in to jail for posting anything critical by the government which also restricts Web access.
A blogger from Myanmar is serving a 59 years in prison charge for leaking video footage on the Internet after Cyclone Nargis, 2008.
The second most dangerous place to blog is Iran, where the authorities, according to the group, frequently arrest and harass bloggers who dare to criticize or question leaders. Syria comes third, where, according to the report, the government arrests bloggers who post material which offends "national unity" in any way.
In Vietnam, the Orwellian-sounding Ministry of Information and Communication have built up agencies that scrutinize and monitor the internet.
Tunisia and Turkmenistan is also in the list of the worst countries for blogging according to the report. Internet is strictly restricted in these regions.
China also makes the list, specifically for maintaining the world's finest online censorship program on earth, according to the organization's report.
Chinese authorities, says the report, with the help of service providers to filter searches, block all website which hosts critical content, delete objectionable material and thoroughly monitor email traffic. According to the committee's research, about 24 online bloggers are in jail in China.
Egypt makes number ten to the list. Local freedom groups of the press reported the imprisonment of about 100 bloggers in 2008, according to the report. Most bloggers detained reported ill treatment and some even reported torture.
"The governments on the list are trying to roll back the information revolution, and for now they are having success," said the organization's director. "Freedom of expression groups, concerned governments, the online community, and technology companies need to come together to defend the rights of bloggers around the world."
Tags: Blogging , Freedom Of Speech
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