RSF unblocks 34 censored websites in 18 countries.
How does RSF outsmart censorship?
Operation #CollateralFreedom circumvents Internet censorship by means of a strategy in which “mirrors” or duplicates of the censored websites are created on international servers belonging to the world’s Internet giants. If a country wants to block access to the mirrors, it must also deprive itself of access to all the sites and services hosted on these servers, which would inflict significant “collateral damage” on its own economy.
Websites unblocked by RSF
Focus on Censorship
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Bahrain’s Information Affairs Agency has had the power to censor websites since 2002. Posting content that criticizes Islam or the king, or incites violence or the overthrow of the government, is punishable by up to five years in prison. The government’s control of the Internet is facilitated by its majority shareholding in the kingdom’s leading Internet Service Provider, Batelco, which monitors and filters traffic. Officials cite the need to protect the public from pornography but many sites are targeted for their political content. Since the pro-democracy demonstrations of February 2011, news sites such as Bahrain Mirror and the daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi have been banned for posting articles critical of the government. Online censorship includes going after dissidents. Human rights defender Nabeel Rajab, blogger Ghada Jamsheer and Maryam Al-Khawaja, co-president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, were all arrested in connection with online posts at the end of 2014.