Online Censorship

online censorship

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Below is a sample of Global Voices stories about online censorship in 2012. Looking across the range of coverage, it's clear that threats against online free speech often follow the same patterns in different countries.

Governments censor the web when they see things they don't like or wish to appear tough, individuals are harassed when they speak out, and policymakers either don't understand or abuse their powers when it comes to regulating the Internet. Big companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter, anger their users when they remove or restrict sensitive content.

As something new, citizens around the world are increasingly willing to take to the streets when they see their access to the Internet and free speech online threatened. Limitations vary from country to country, but for those waging the battles for free speech online, there is much to learn from studying the challenges and successes of netizens in other countries.

Global Voices AdvocacyGlobal Voices Advocacy is our project to monitor and defend internet freedom around the world. Every week, we publish the Netizen Report – a global roundup of censorship and news about internet regulation – as well as special Latin America and Middle East and North Africa editions.

If you would like to contribute to our work, please contact the Global Voices Advocacy team.

What we do: Global Voices bloggers from the report on how citizens use the internet and social media to make their voices heard, often translating from different languages.

Blocks, Bans & ‘Big Brother’

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24 Sep – Iran Blocks Access to Google and Gmail
24 Sep – Kyrgyzstan: Court Bans Anti-Islam Film
20 Sep – Pakistan Bans YouTube Over Controversial Video
18 Sep – Saudi Arabia: Authorities Threaten to Block YouTube
13 Jul – Tajikistan: Big Brother to Watch Internet Activity in the Country
10 Jul – Russia: A Great Firewall to Censor the RuNet?
22 Jun – Sudan: Netizens Verify Internet Blackout Rumours
02 Jun – Brazil: Facebook Censors Photos of the ‘SlutWalk’
20 May – Pakistan: Twitter Goes Through Weekend of Censorship
02 Apr – China Social Media Crackdown: 6 Arrested, 16 Websites Closed
24 Mar – Bangladesh: Court Orders Shutting Down of Facebook Pages for Blasphemous Contents
11 Mar – Egypt: Mixed Reactions to Porn Ban Proposal
01 Feb – China: Several Tibetan Language Blog Sites Shut Down

Policy & Legislation

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01 Oct – Stricter Web Regulation in Southeast Asia
28 Sep – Panama: Controversial 510 Copyright Bill Approved
19 Sep – Philippines: ‘Anti-Cybercrime Law Threatens Media Freedom’
18 Sep – Bangladesh: Draft Online Media Policy Draws Criticism
12 Sep – Philippines: Senate President Wants Law to Regulate Blogs
02 Apr – Malaysia: Online Media to be Regulated Soon?
02 Apr – Kyrgyzstan: The Internet on Trial?
22 Feb – Tunisia: Court Quashes Verdict Ordering the Filtering of Pornography
25 Jan – Poland: Government Will Sign ACTA Despite Massive Protest


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28 Sep – Russia: The Kostin Report & the Trojan Horse of American ICT
21 Sep – Thailand’s Lese Majeste Law: ‘A Strange Legislation that Needs Reform’
09 Sep – Singapore: Media Literacy Council to Curb Internet Freedom?
30 Jul – Nigeria: Senate President Calls for Social Media Censorship
01 Mar – Russia: The Early Days of Government Transparency


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30 Sep – Vietnam: Government Jails Three ‘Dissident’ Bloggers
13 Aug – Sri Lanka: Noose Tightens Around Online Freedom of Expression
09 Apr – Thailand: Internet Freedom Threats and Violations
23 Feb – Colombia: Citizen Journalist Threatened Over Viral Video
20 Feb – Tunisia: A Year After the Revolution, Limitations on Freedom of Expression Continue
13 Feb – India: Internet Companies Bow to Censorship Demands

Anti-Censorship Protests

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12 Sep – Jordan: ‘Day of Mourning’ as Parliament Approves Internet Restrictions
22 Aug – Jordan: Say No to Internet Censorship
17 Aug – Malaysia: Government Vows to Review Web Censorship Law After Protest
14 Aug – Malaysia: Blackout Protest Against Internet Censorship Legislation
02 Jun – Tunisia: Protesting the Military's Lack of Transparency and Censorship
28 Apr – India: Protests Against the New IT Rules
12 Feb – Portugal: Protests Against ACTA
12 Feb – Bulgaria: Thousands Take Part in Anti-ACTA Protests
22 Jan – Tunisia: ”Do Not Censor Pornographic Content”
22 Jan – Poland: Netizens Protest Government's Plan to Sign ACTA Next Week
18 Jan – Global Online Community Protests U.S. Anti-Piracy Bills

Ideas & Debate

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07 Sep – India: Is Online Censorship Always a Violation of Free Speech?
24 Aug – India: Social Media Censorship to Contain ‘Cyber-Terrorism'?
26 Jul – Global: A Marathon to Translate the Declaration of Internet Freedom
19 Jul – Video: Internet Society Discusses International Freedom of Speech and Censorship
16 Jul – World: Is a Declaration of Internet Freedom What the Internet Needs?
06 May – India: Freedom Fast To Save Your Voice
02 May – Ethiopia: Netizens Thrilled with PEN Award for Dissident Blogger and Journalist
10 Apr – China: An Insider's Reflection on Keyword Filtering Programs
06 Feb – Cuba: Bloggers on SOPA, Culture and the Democratization of Knowledge
27 Jan – China: Not Worried About Twitter's Decision to Self-Censor

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