Threats to the Open Net: May 4, 2012

  • Freedom House came out with its 2012 survey on the freedom of the press around the world. Media gains happened in the Middle East and Northern Africa as Arab Spring stimulated a significant amount of social media activity. However, press freedom declined in a number of democratic countries, including Chile and Hungary. It also found that the percent of people that enjoy press freedom around the world has fallen to 14.5, the lowest since 1996.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists released its findings on the most censored nations in the world. Topping the list is Eritrea, whose government dictates the media's every move and provides instructions on what journalists can write about. It also bans foreign reporters from the country. North Korea and Syria follow Eritrea. Guidelines used to rank the countries include dictatorial control over information as well as citizen accessibility to the Internet.
  • The High Court in the United Kingdom has ruled that British ISPs must censor the Pirate Bay. A group of music corporations including EMI and Sony filed jointly for a lawsuit against the torrenting website several weeks ago, appealing to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
  • The Palestinian National Authority instructed ISPs to block eight websites last week. The websites apparently published material that criticized President Mahmoud Abbas. Internet users in the West Bank reported that these websites, which include Amad and Fatah Voice that focus on daily news and internal Fatah issues, became inaccessible.

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