Ethiopia accused of 'cyber-censorship'
Written by CyberEthiopia   
Friday, 04 May 2007
 CyberEthiopia ImageAn Internet watchdog has accused Ethiopia of blocking scores of anti-government websites and millions of blogs. "We have not done anything like that, and we have no intention of doing anything like that." a "misinformation" ministry spokesman said.
Editor's note: The government spokesman Zemedkun Tekle is yet again stating misinformation to foreign medias. CyberEthiopia has been one of the first web sites blocked since May 2006. Prior to the censorship, 20% of our users had IP addresses located in Ethiopia (all users in Ethiopia access the Internet through the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation, a state monopoly and sole ISP in the country). Users from Ethiopia can no longer access our site as a result of the government repressive measure to censor the Internet as illustrated by the drop in our usage statistics corresponding to the disapperance from our server logs of IP addresses in Ethiopia. The number of new users of CyberEthiopia from other parts of the World has kept its increase at a steady pace. With over 4000 unique visitors per day and an excellent ranking on Google and other search engines, CyberEthiopia still remains among the top five most visited Ethiopian web sites (see our figures for April 2007 ).

An Internet watchdog has accused Ethiopia of blocking scores of anti-government websites and millions of blogs.

The OpenNet Initiative said the country was stopping citizens from viewing opposition-linked sites and blogs hosted by Blogger, an online journal community owned by Google.

Ethiopia dismissed the report as "a baseless allegation".

"We may have technical problems from time to time," an information ministry spokesman said. "But we have not done anything like that, and we have no intention of doing anything like that."

The OpenNet Initiative - a partnership between Harvard Law School, and universities of Toronto and Cambridge and Oxford - said it had gathered proof of interference.

"We have run diagnostic tests using volunteers in Ethiopia which indicate that they are blocking IP addresses," OpenNet research director Robert Faris said, referring to the unique numeric addresses of Web sites.

"The evidence is overwhelming that that is what they are doing. Most of the sites that we found blocked were related to freedom of expression, human rights and political opposition," he said.

The allegations could be embarrassing for the Ethiopian government, which is a major ally of the United States in Africa and has been criticised for a post-election crackdown on opposition that killed nearly 200 people in 2005.

Source: Ireland.com

Also read

  • Google Blocked In Ethiopia - May 2007 (Softpedia)
  • Ethiopian government accused of cyber-censorship - May 2007 (Ireland.com)
  • Internet Repression in Ethiopia - May 2006 (CyberEthiopia.com)
  • Ethiopian authorities urged to unblock websites - 25 May 2006 (IRIN)
  • Press Group Says Ethiopia Censors Internet - 24 May 2006 (Voice of America)
  • Three more sites unaccessible within Ethiopia, government denies being involved – 29 May 2006 (RSF)
  • Ethiopia:  new member of the "Internet Filtering Club" of China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan - July 2006 (BBC)
  • Blocking the Blogosphere – Online Censorship in Africa - (Media Channel)
  • Censorship, Arab Africa relationships and failed electricity supplies - 24 May 20 (Pambazuka News)
  • The Chinese Government Gave Technical Assitance For "The Internet Blockage in Ethiopia
  •