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Tuesday, August 10, 1999 Published at 03:30 GMT 04:30 UK


World

Countries branded 'Internet enemies'

Internet users are finding new ways around the controls

Twenty countries have been branded enemies of the Internet by the journalists' rights group Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF).

The group has named countries they say control access and censor Websites.

The worst offenders are said to have "censored sites and attacked Internet users". They were China, North Korea, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and Belarus were also named.

They are among 45 countries who totally or partially control access to the internet, said a report from the group.

"Under the pretext of protecting the public from 'subversive ideas' or 'guaranteeing the safety of the country's unity' some of these regimes have completely banned access to the Internet," said the report.

RSF said Internet users got around the censorship by using links connected over international, mobile or satellite telephone lines.



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