Restrictive regimes censor Web access
Alfredo Ascanio (askain)
Published 2006-10-21 14:25 (KST)
The Chinese government practices extensive Internet censorship. Web sites that can not be viewed in China include those related to controversial issues such as Tibetan and Taiwanese independence, as well as religious Web sites and major news organizations like the BBC and Voice of America.
Even Google and Yahoo conform to Internet censorship in China. The "Great Firewall" of China has become notorious.
The Chinese government is scared that a free Internet will undermine its power. Any sites that might be critical of its actions, like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are blocked.
China also maintains filters for the navigation on the internet and had prohibited Wikipedia, although seems that the negotiations have permitted their use restricted.
In Castro's Cuba, approval is needed before citizens can buy computers. This approval is almost impossible to obtain. Approval is also needed to sign up with the Communist country's Internet provider. The government claims that it does not block Web sites, but according to BBC reporter Stephen Gibbs, Web sites published by the regime's opponents are usually unavailable.
The Islamic government of Iran also wants to fight the influence of the Internet. Some Web sites have been blocked, like the BBC's Farsi service and in Sept. it was reported that major bloghost Persianblog had been filtered.
Iran wants to fight the influence of the internet and a way is to restrict the velocity of the navigation only to 128 kilobytes by second and even to limit the use of the wide band.Last week, Mr Ahmadinejad launched to fierce attack on the head of the state broadcasting organisation, IRIB, which there I am blamed for stokingpublic fears about inflation. Iran' s leading reformist newspaper, Shargh, was also closed last month.
Internet speeds in Iranian homes and Internet cafes have also been reduced. The aim of this is of course to hinder free exploration of the Web and to prevent political opponents from networking and expressing themselves.
In democratic countries it is clear that the Internet is needed to further education and science. Students and researchers the world over access Web sites to obtain information and make contacts with people who can help them. For example Simpapur that with its new program of wireless
connection, that calls Wireless@SG, permit in free form to incorporate to its population so that can sail to 512 kilobytes and in free form.
In non-democratic countries that censor the Internet, the fear is that online material will contaminate citizens and turn them against the regimes.
The Internet has already achieved considerable political significance in the free world.
An increasing number of citizens use it to learn about government policies and actions, engage in debate, contact elected representatives, and participate in online political campaigning. Some citizen journalism articles for OhmyNews fall into this category.
The Internet provides an opportunity for everyone in democratic countries to take advantage of new possibilities for political learning and action.
Some have argued that thanks to the Internet, politics is increasingly less centered around institutions like political parties, and more around issue-based group politics. Perhaps the debates surrounding Bush's policies in the United States can be taken as one such example of this.
Other articles by reporter Alfredo Ascanio