Enemies of the Internet

Posted on November 19, 2006

I would like to think that the Internet is everyone's friend. You know, kind of like the guy at the diner down the street who always puts an extra squirt of hot fudge on your ice cream sundae for no extra charge. Unfortunately, there countries who not only won't give their citizens ice cream, but if you do manage to buy some on your own, they smear it in your face.

Reporters Without Borders recently compiled a list of 13 Internet enemies, countries that are heavily censoring the Net. They are listed in alphabetical order, and it's no wonder that China made the list. Many of the others are small sovereign nations, but nevertheless, they are doing their part to control the Internet population. In Turkmenistan, less than 1 percent of the population is online, but even those who are cannot get very far. Vietnam continues to arrest those dissidents who speak out against the government online. Cuba there are few people online (2 percent of the population), and it seems that bloggers who are negative toward the state are blacklisted, jailed or both.

So, a word of advice for you: If you do intend to use the Internet, be cautious of visiting the countries on the list. I would pack a waffle cone, just in case you don't make it.