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
Although still working towards the creation of a restrictive national or “Halal” Internet, Iran continues to develop its Internet infrastructure for economic reasons. With 49 percent Internet penetration and 36 million Internet users, according to official figures, it is one of the region’s most connected countries. And according to Tehran chamber of commerce figures, Iran’s imports of mobile phones and IT equipment from China and the United Arab Emirates totalled nearly 4 billion dollars last year (2.3 billion from China and 1.6 billion from UAE). Nonetheless, the authorities block many news sites, mostly those that support the reformists but also conservative ones. The grounds given are often the same – anti-government propaganda, immoral content, attacks on national security or sacrilege. The reasons are above all political and it should not be forgotten that it is easier to access porn sites than independent news sites in Iran. According to the government media, more than 50 online activists are currently detained and 20 are serving sentences ranging from one to eight years in prison. Most of these arrests are carried out by the Revolutionary Guards, with whom the justice system cooperates at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s bidding.