United States And United Kingdom Among ‘Enemies Of Internet’
It doesn’t take a genius to guess that China and North Korea are right up there among countries that deprive its people of unbarred internet access. However, the appearance of United States of America and the United Kingdom on a list of such nations does boggle one’s mind. Oh yes, it’s true. A non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders has taken the ‘liberty’ to draft an annual report containing countries that have proven to be the sorest of internet foes in 2014. So much for the big talk about democracy?
United States of America
Guess who, or should I say what, earns the US this tasteless honour? NSA, ofcourse. Reporters have been very critical of the NSA’s secretive practices that may be seen as an abuse of the public rights. The report also suggests that NSA keeps checks on the web, thanks to its corroboration with Verizon, AT&T and Level 3. Do note that this is the first time the US caught the attention of the reporters.
Like it or not, the UK has been listed as ‘world champion of surveillance’ which is mainly attributed to Government Communications Headquarters. The report suggests that the British agency works in collaboration with the NSA to overcome legal barriers and monitor a good chunk of the world. The UK was ahead of the US in this race last year.
The reporters are largely critical of India’s strengthening of surveillance methods following the Mumbai attacks. Apparently, the state of India has gained unlimited access to a massive range of electronic communications with little to no help from ISPs. The reporters assume that explains why India has remained quiet about the allegations on the NSA.
The Chinese government has gone balls to the walls crazy about the way it goes about this act. It is no secret; it’s common knowledge. Not only does the government of China block content on websites but it also keeps tabs on every individual that accesses the internet. That explains why it is branded as the ‘world’s biggest prison for netizens.’
The situation in North Korea is somewhat worse. The residents can access national intranet that is extremely censored and strictly monitored by the agencies. It even has units that can keep track of digital gadgets one brings from abroad. These units include: Department 27 and Group 109. Mind you, we are talking about a country of nearly 24.7 million people out of which merely 2 million have access to computers.
Russia – “Control from the top down”
Syria – “Online Tracking is a familiar affair”
Iran – “Cyberspace ayatollahs”
Saudia Arabia – “Prime centre of content blocking”
Pakistan – “Upgraded censorship”