Opposition websites and blogs go down but is it censorship or a technical glitch?

Reporters Without Borders has called on Ethiopia’s information and culture minister to explain why several websites critical of the government have been inaccessible in the country since 17 May 2006.
Ethiopians have also seen all publications hosted by blogspot disappear from the Internet.
Even though the authorities have made no announcement it is likely that the disappearance of the sites is the result of political censorship and not technical problems.
"We would like to know if your government has deliberately blocked access to online publications, a list of which we enclose, thus taking the course of filtering the Internet,” the press freedom organisation asked Hailu Berhan in a letter.
“The Ethiopian Internet is dynamic and has seen the development of an extremely active blogging community. It is your responsibility to ensure that all opinions can be expressed online, even when some Internet-users directly criticise government action.”
“Preventing debate and controlling news and information circulating online will only aggravate an already very tense political climate,” it said.
“We also wish to draw to your attention the consequences of filtering a blog tool such as blogspot, which is currently inaccessible in Ethiopia. Blocking access to this service has the effect of censoring all publications which it hosts, the vast majority of which do not deal with politics or with Ethiopia.”

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at11:11 AM

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