Internet Censorship in Africa

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Governments in Africa are afraid of protest movements and have decided to strengthen internet censorship in order to prevent them. Much attention has been paid recently to the blocking of sites in Egypt and Libya, to the filtering of the Internet in Tunisia and to the incarceration of the Moroccan bloggers. However, the situation in the rest of the region is also very difficult.

The filtering of websites has been used by the Ethiopian government for a long time. Moreover, some sites, such as political opposition websites, independent news sites and sites of some human rights organizations, are blocked in the country. The government is the only owner of Ethiopia's Internet infrastructure, which is why it exerts total control over it.

Despite the fact that all the sites are available in Burundi, the situation in the country isn’t any better, because users don’t enjoy Internet freedom. The internet filtering allows the government to track down users and to control their activity. For example, the editor of an online news site was arrested in 2010. And these practices are widespread in many African countries.

As for Sudan, people are free to use a lot of websites, but this access is under control. Researcher Patrick Meier claims in his blog post that the Sudanese government uses social networking sites to track down protesters. A group of people that called for protest was arrested; also many people that joined the street protests were taken into prison.

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