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Study: Internet Censorship Grows Worldwide


A study conducted by top Western universities says Internet censorship is growing worldwide, with 26 countries investigated blocking or filtering political or social content.

The study, called OpenNet Initiative, was carried out by experts at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Toronto. The group says that of the 40 countries it studied, China, Iran, Burma, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam had the most extensive filters for political Web sites.

It said Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia , Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen had the strictest social-filtering practices for things such as pornography, gambling, and gay and lesbian Web sites.

The study says censorship was narrow in some countries, such as in South Korea, where it says the government tends to only block information about North Korea.

The study OpenNet Initiative said it did not include any countries in North America or Western European countries because the filtering practicers there are better understood than elsewhere.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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