RSF unblocks 24 censored websites
Starting on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, Internet users throughout the world will have free and unrestricted access to Ozguruz (Turkish journalist Can Dundar’s website in Turkey), Azathabar (in Turkmenistan), Meydan (Azerbaijan), Doha News (Qatar) and Alqst (Saudi Arabia).
How does RSF outsmart censorship?
Operation #CollateralFreedom circumvents technological censorship by means of an original strategy in which “mirrors” or duplicates of the censored websites are created on the servers of the world’s Internet giants. Authoritarian regimes cannot block access to the mirrors without the “collateral damage” of restricting their own access to the services of these Internet companies.
15 countries enemies of Internet
Focus on Censorship
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
The level of online censorship in Turkmenistan, ranked 178th out of 180 countries in the 2016 press freedom index, is what you would expect from its extremely authoritarian regime. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has himself called “Arkagad” (Protective Father), protects his people so well from outside influences that barely 15 percent had access to the Internet in 2016. These pioneers surf a highly censored version dubbed the “Turkmenet” and have to show ID to visit an Internet café. State-owned TurkmenTelekom’s monopoly of Internet access makes a connection prohibitively expensive for most people. It also gives the regime full control over online content because TurkmenTelekom owns the only point of access to the World Wide Web and blocks all sites that its masters want censored. The criteria determining what is blocked are secret but they must be very broad because so many sites are inaccessible. They include most independent and foreign news websites and even the main blog platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and other Internet giants are also often blocked.