The "Enemies of the Internet" – according to a Reporters Without Borders report are Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
These countries have all "transformed their Internet into an Intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing ‘undesirable’ online information,” the group said..
"All these countries distinguish themselves not only by their ability to censor online news and information but also by their virtually systematic persecution of troublesome Internet users."
In what seems like unintentionally ironic language, the organization has also placed 10 other governments “under surveillance,” notably Australia and South Korea.
Not only is the Internet more and more controlled, but new forms of censorship are emerging based on the manipulation of information. Orchestrating the posting of comments on popular websites or organising hacker attacks is also used by repressive regimes to scramble or jam online content.
But it's not just governments getting the wag of the finger. BusinessWeek reports that the group also criticizes Google, Yahoo and Microsoft for going along with the repression.
They are aware of what's going on," says Clothilde Le Coz, who heads the Internet freedom desk for Reporters Without Borders, referring to Internet giants Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO), and Microsoft (MSFT). But in many parts of the world, Le Coz says, these companies are "not going far enough" to protect their users from what her group considers repressive governments.