Saturday, February 20, 2010

Myanmar: worst countries in suppressing internet users.

The Top 20 Countries with the highest number of internet users

1. China
2. United States
3. Japan
4. India
5. Brazil
6. Germany
7. United Kingdom
8. Russia
9. France
10. South Korea
11. Iran
12. Italy
13. Indonesia
14. Spain
15. Mexico
16. Turkey
17. Canada
18. Philippines
19. Vietnam
20. Poland

(source: World Internet User Statistics were updated for September 30, 2009,

The top 10 Asian countries

1. China
2. Japan
3. India
4. South Korea
5. Indonesia
6. Philippines
7. Vietnam
8. Pakistan
9. Malaysia
10. Taiwan

A list of 13 "enemies of the internet" has been released by human rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

North Korea
Saudi Arabia

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement in April last year, which said Burma is one of the 10 worst countries in suppressing internet users.

Blogging in Burma is nearly as dangerous as protesting on the streets against the country's military-run government. So it will come as no surprise to those who closely monitor Burma's heavily restricted media and censored Internet that CPJ has ranked the country as the worst place in the world to be a blogger.

Under a military dictatorship since 1962, Burma routinely suppresses freedom of expression among its people. All news outlets inside the country fall under the strict and comprehensive surveillance of the state's censorship board and are also held in check by various publication laws. Prior censorship is imposed on all local media and is strictly applied against any news that might cast the government in a bad light.

The Internet is one of the few places where Burmese can receive independent news and views, albeit at their peril. That's particularly true for bloggers, many of whom have dared to post outside news or their own views on local events. Various laws restricting the right to information and expression have been promulgated and if violated can lead to long jail terms for journalists, bloggers, and Internet users.


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