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Text of press release by Washington-based human rights group Freedom House on 1 April
Washington, 1 April, 2009: A new study from Freedom House warns that the rights of internet and mobile phone users are increasingly at risk as governments, both repressive and democratic, expand their ability to monitor and control online activity.
Freedom on the Net identifies wide disparities in internet freedom among the 15 countries studied and raises concern over trends such as the "outsourcing of censorship" to private companies and authoritarian governments' use of undercover agents to manipulate online conversations. The report cites both repressive and democratic governments for internet surveillance and for failing to adequately inform users about censorship standards.
"More than a billion people look to the internet and mobile phones to provide a new freedom frontier, where they can exercise their right to freedom of expression without repercussion," said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. "But as access grows, more governments are employing diverse and sophisticated methods to monitor, censor and punish internet users."
Freedom House developed the pilot study to better …