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
The Internet still constituted an area of freedom (the only one) for the Egyptian media until the adoption of a terrorism law in 2015 and, even more so, a cybercrime law in 2018. The authorities can now prosecute and jail journalists on charges of “spreading false information” and “membership of a terrorist group” and can shut down sites that share independently reported news and information.
Since 2017, access to more than 500 websites has been blocked without reference to the courts and often with no reason being given. The Supreme Council for Media Regulation, Egypt’s media regulator, says they are being blocked for spreading “false news.” One media outlet after another has being forced to close because it could not survive economically without online visibility. Egypt’s Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) estimates that, in all, a thousand websites may have been affected because the authorities block by IP address and behind any one IP address there may be a server hosting more than one site. During street protests, the authorities systematically block access to journalists and media outlets that report the demands of the protesters and, in particular, anti-government slogans. The BBC and Alhurra websites were quickly blocked during the protests in September 2019.