Feeds

Clinton report warns human rights are online too

Repression now includes the web

High performance access to file storage

An annual report by the US State Department has found dictators and repressive governments around the world are making sure they have as much control over their citizens when they're online as they do the rest of the time.

The United States annual report on human rights might include a look at internet access and censorship but its real focus is good old-fashioned torture, wrongful arrest, censorship and police brutality. Not that the US has done anything to promote or make such behaviour acceptable of course.

The report said: "Many governments applied overly broad interpretations of terrorism and emergency powers as a basis for limiting the rights of detainees and curtailing other basic human rights and humanitarian law protections."

Although investigators did look at internet access it is clear they have not drunk the Web2.0 Kool Aid. The country report for Zambia for instance is a detailed and lengthy look at individual cases of deaths in police custody, harassment of journalists, running of elections and government corruption.

The report noted that only 5.5 per cent of the Zambian population accessed the internet in 2009. But it said: "During the year the government revoked the visa of a foreign national living in Zambia who criticized a deputy minister on her blog. The government threatened to deport another foreign national who posted remarks on the Internet deemed critical of the government."

Researchers looked at 194 countries in detail. Information is collated by US embassies with help from NGOs and other researchers. There's more from the State Department here.

China hit back immediately by issuing its own report on human rights in the US. China accused the US of using human rights as a political tool to interfere with other countries. The Chinese report focused on illegal wiretapping by US spooks, the setting up of an internet monitoring body, racial discrimination and police abuses of power.

A separate report issued by Reporters Without Borders warned that countries like Burma, North Korea and Turkmenistan remain effectively offline in order to restrict citizens' access to information. It said that there was increasing action against bloggers in Azerbaijan, Iran, Morocco and China.

But the organisation also named Australia, France and the UK as western democracies which were using the fight against child sexual abuse images and file sharing to enforce repressive laws. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.