I am collecting “censored!” screens from different countries. Thanks to the sleuthing of Jacob Appelbaum, I’ve got two more for you. When you’re not allowed to see something online in Qatar, you get redirected to this site:
(Click for larger.) As opposed to most of the other “blocked site” screens, you don’t actually have to be in country to see this, just go to http://www.censor.qa/.
Next up, Bahrain:
Lest the Westerners in the audience get the impression that blocking internet access is all about silly little theocracies in the desert, note that Australia just passed an internet censorship law. The blacklist is secret. Stay tuned for “What Internet Censorship Looks Like in Australia”!
The Turkish Government censors internet access from within the country, as I discovered yesterday when attempting to access YouTube from the Turkish town of Selçuk, as this screenshot shows (click to enlarge):
The English text on this page reads: “Access to this web site is banned by ‘TELEKOMÜNİKASYON İLETİŞİM BAŞKANLIĞI’ according to the order of: Ankara 1. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi, 05.05.2008 of 2008/402″
Just to complete the irony, I was looking for a video of the Oscar Grant shooting when I first discovered this “blocked site” page.
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In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) it looks like this:
I captured this from an internet cafe in Dubai in November, 2007, when I tried to navigate to flickr.com. Click for a larger image; the text reads, in Arabic and English, “We apologize [sic] the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.” I must say it was something of a shock. If you live in what is commonly known as “Western Civilization”, you’ve probably never run into a censored page before. As with all personal experience, if you don’t see it yourself it’s very easy to forget that it exists at all.
But internet censorship does exist. It’s very real. In fact, something like one third of the governments of the world censor their citizens’ internet access. Given that this includes India and (especially) China, it may be that half the people people in the world can’t actually see what Americans, Canadians, Europeans and so on experience as “the internet.” Continue Reading »