Feeds

Clinton report warns human rights are online too

Repression now includes the web

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.