Afrique Ameriques Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies

Publication of second annual report on cyberspace : "The Internet under Surveillance - Obstacles to the free flow of information online"

-  Download the report :

PDF - 2.5 Mb
The Internet under Surveillance
Obstacles to the free flow of information online

-  The report online

The number of Internet users in China doubles nearly every six months and the number of Chinese websites every year. But this dizzying expansion of cyberspace is matched by government efforts to control, censor and repress it with harsh laws, jailing cyber-dissidents, blocking access to websites, spying on discussion forums and shutting down cybercafés.

In Vietnam, the Internet is not very widespread but is nevertheless firmly under the control of the ruling Communist Party, which seems to be faithfully copying neighbouring China by arresting cyber-dissidents, barring access to sites deemed politically or culturally "incorrect" and monitoring private e-mail.

Going online in Cuba is very restricted and closely watched by the government. Official permission is required and the necessary equipment, including the most modern, is rationed and can only be bought in special state-run shops, again only with special permission. The government passed laws as soon as the Internet came to Cuba. Decree 209 ("Access to the World Computer Network from Cuba") of June 1996 says it cannot be used "in violation of the moral principles of Cuban society and its laws" and that e-mail messages must not "endanger national security."

In Tunisia, the government says it favours rapid and democratic growth of the Internet. But in practice, state security police keep it under very tight control. Sites are censored, e-mail intercepted, cybercafés monitored and users arrested and arbitrarily imprisoned. One cyber-dissident, Zouhair Yahyaoui, was arrested in 2002 and sent to jail for two years.

In mid-June this year, more than 50 Internet users were in prison around the world, three quarters of them in China.

The Internet is the bane of all dictatorial regimes, but even in democracies such as the United States, Britain and France, new anti-terrorism laws have tightened government control of it and undermined the principle of protecting journalistic sources.

This report is about attitudes to the Internet by the powerful in 60 countries, between spring 2001 and spring 2003. The preface is by Vinton G. Cerf, who is often called the "father" of the Internet.

The entire report is available in English and French on the Reporters Without Borders website, downloadable in pdf format:

PDF - 2.5 Mb
The Internet under Surveillance
Obstacles to the free flow of information online

Go to "media download" to have the cover on 300 high resolution. A printed version can be ordered from Reporters Without Borders, 5 rue Geoffroy-Marie, 75009 Paris, France (10 euros + postage).

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2005 progress Report
I. The state of press freedom worldwide in 2007
II. The year 2006
III. Reporters Without Borders’ field of work
IV. How to help us

Accounts 2006
Income and expenditure
State of accounts at 31 December 2006