The Internet and Human Rights
The web is a great tool for sharing ideas and freedom of expression but efforts to control the Internet improperly are growing.
Internet repression is reported in countries like China, Vietnam, Tunisia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
People are spied on, controlled, persecuted and imprisoned simply for criticising their government, calling for democracy and greater press freedom, or exposing human rights abuses online.
Chat rooms are monitored, blogs deleted, websites blocked, search engines restricted and people are imprisoned for simply posting and sharing information.
The Internet is a new frontier in the struggle for human rights. The initial grace period in which internet-users enjoyed complete freedom has ended. Now governments – with the help of some of the biggest IT companies in the world – are cracking down on freedom of expression.
It is not only governments that are threatening the freedom of the web. IT companies have helped build the systems that enable surveillance and censorship to take place.
Yahoo! has supplied email users’ private data to the Chinese authorities, helping to facilitate cases of wrongful imprisonment. Microsoft and Google have both complied with government demands to censor Chinese users of their services.
You can find out more and sign our pledge to demand freedom of information and expression on the Internet via Amnesty International’s special campaign site: