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United Nations13.02.2003

Freedom of Information Endangered on the Internet

Reporters without Borders would like to take this occasion to forewarn the United Nations system, as well as all Member-State governments, not to make any attempt to use this Summit-whose aim is to narrow the technological gap between rich and poor countries-as a means to further impede press freedom on the Internet.

It indeed became evident, during the various regional preparatory meetings that have already occurred around the globe, that many governments were planning to use the fight against criminal activities over the networks as justification for imposing censorship and other coercive measures that may also curtail the media’s new technological activities. We have found, in these States’ contributions, the same interventionist and restrictive ideas that inspired the liberticidal project of the "New World Order of Information" in the 1970s and 1980s.

Reporters without Borders’ mistrust was heightened, at these regional meetings, by the manifest desire on the part of several States to prevent civil society and NGO representatives from participating in the preliminary proceedings of the World Summit on the Information Society. Neither is it reassuring that the second phase of the Summit is scheduled to be held in 2005 in Tunisia-a country whose deplorable situation, in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of information, is common knowledge.

Obstacles to the free flow of information online

Analyses :
A call for vigilance
Let’s not forget 10 September 2001
On a Filtered Internet, Things Are Not As They Seem
Choose a country :
3 June 2009 - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
2 June 2009 - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
26 May 2009 - Egypt
Blogger fined nearly 6,000 euros for accusing chemical company of pollution
20 May 2009 - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
19 May 2009 - Syria
Proposed press law reform poses new threat to Internet
15 May 2009 - Burma
Growing restrictions on free flow of information
14 May 2009 - Bahrain
Authorities step up offensive against journalists and websites
12 May 2009 - Fiji
Government arrests two journalists in another “warning shot” for press freedom
11 May 2009 - Malaysia
Human rights lawyer P. Uthayakumar freed
5 May 2009 - Turkey
YouTube completes a year of being blocked in Turkey

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