Reporters Without Borders Cites “Enemies of the Internet”

Nov 7th, 2006 | By | Category: Citizen Media

Human rights group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres, or RSF) today announced its list of 13 worst “enemies of the Internet.”

The list consists of countries that RSF believes are suppressing freedom of expression on the internet. For the first time, Egypt has been added to the list while former “enemies” Nepal, Libya and the Maldives have all been removed.
Egypt is cited for its attitude to bloggers rather than specific web censorship, said a spokesman for the RSF.

“Three bloggers have been arrested and detained this year for speaking out in favour of democratic reform. This is an appeal to the Egyptian government to change its position,” said the spokesman.

The civil liberties pressure group has organised a 24-hour protest, inviting web users to vote for the worst offending countries. In New York, mobile billboards drove around the streets of the city displaying large posters of a map of the world highlighting the Internet’s black holes.

In Paris, Reporters Without Borders projected a gigantic world map of online censorship onto the city‚Äôs monuments. The press and passers-by saw the map projected onto the facade of Saint-Lazare station, onto the building that houses the French headquarters of Yahoo!, and onto the Bastille Opera. The organizers’ aim was to encourage the public to get involved in the fight to defend the right to online free expression. Reporters Without Borders activists distributed leaflets explaining the 24-hour online protest against censorship.

Visitors to the RSF website are also invited to leave a voice message for Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Yang, expressing their views on the firm’s involvement in China.

RSF has been outspoken in its condemnation of Yahoo. The search engine has been criticised along with other companies for helping the Chinese authorities block access to some online material.


  • Belarus
  • Burma
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • North Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

The “roll of shame” is published annually but this year is the first time RSF has organised an online protest to accompany the list.
Many of those on the internet blacklist are countries that are regularly criticised by human rights groups, such as China and Burma.

In a related story, today RSF launched, its own free blogging platform. By choosing to create a blog on, bloggers will “help our organisation to support the Internet users who defy the bans on free expression,” the RSF website says.


3 Responses to “Reporters Without Borders Cites “Enemies of the Internet””

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