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
Not content with tightening his grip on the traditional media, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also gone out of his way to control the Internet, which is much used as a forum for free expression by Turkey’s embattled civil society. Following adoption of draconian reforms, websites are routinely blocked without reference to a judge as the government is now able to order “preventive blocking” of any content on an “emergency” basis. Internet service providers have four hours to comply and judicial endorsement of the decision after the event is virtually automatic.
The authorities are also responsible for almost half of the Turkish content removal requests submitted to Twitter and, if need be, the government does not hesitate to block to the entire Twitter website or indeed the entire YouTube website – an extreme to which only a handful of the world’s most repressive regimes have so far resorted. The government took its authoritarianism to a new level after the abortive coup in July 2016, blocking the Internet for several days in the Kurdish regions and curbing access to censorship circumvention tools such as VPNs and the Tor network. The MIT intelligence agency has meanwhile steadily improved and expanded its mass surveillance techniques.