Are web sites unblocked in Ethiopia?
Written by CyberEthiopia   
Monday, 09 March 2009

CyberEthiopia Visitors Map Overlay Sources in Ethiopia informed us last week that CyberEthiopia.com was accessible again from Ethiopia after a nearly 3 year ban.

The lifting of the Internet filtering comes few days after President Obama's administration released its Human Rights reports in 2009 accusing the Ethiopian government of restricting Internet access to its citizens and of "blocking web sites", including CyberEthiopia.com .

 CyberEthiopia Visitors Map Overlay
(Nov/Dec 2008)
CyberEthiopia Visitors Map Overlay
 
(Jan/Feb 2009)
CyberEthiopia Visitors Map Overlay
 Source: CyberEthiopia Access logs and Google Analytics

In the aftermath of the highly contested elections in 2005, CyberEthiopia was blocked to Internet users in the nation along with many other popular news sites and blogs.

Despite documented evidence gathered by OpenNet Initiative, an academic partnership that studies Internet censorship and the numerous calls from Global Media watchdogs, government officials always denied restricting access to the Internet saying that they had no explanation or information about the inaccessibility of these web sites.

All Internet users in Ethiopia access the World Wide Web through the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC), a state monopoly and sole Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the country.

Prior to the censorship, 20% of our users had IP addresses located in Ethiopia. Our recent visitors map overlay suggests indeed a certain lift of the ban as it reflects a return of users from Ethiopia since the month of February 2009.

Our visitors logs also indicate that the authorities seemingly block and unblock the access, presumably to justify the absence of a systematic and pervasive filtering of the Internet, thereby creating confusion among end-users in Ethiopia. Many in Ethiopia have confirmed this erratic access to CyberEthiopia and other ethiopian news sites.

We shall keep an eye on the announced lift of the Internet Censorship in Ethiopia and pursue our vigilance on human rights and Internet Freedom abuses in Ethiopia.
 
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