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Study Shows At Least 25 Countries Block Websites

When friends tell me stories about their companies blocking their access to websites like geeksugar or to MSN chat or gmail, I am shocked with disbelief. Sure some of those sites might hinder productivity, but is it really fair to limit your employees' web access?

Could you imagine living in a country where websites are continually blocked for political, social or various other reasons? According to USA Today, a study shows that at least 25 countries are censoring internet content. Apparently, China, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam had the most extensive filters for political sites. Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen had the strictest social-filtering practices, blocking pornography, gambling and gay and lesbian sites.

The study comes from the OpenNet Initiative group which is comprised of researchers from Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Harvard University and the University of Toronto, who detail censorship in specific countries. This latest study was its attempt to compare filtering worldwide, although North American or Western European countries were not included.

How do you feel about this? Do you think internet censorship can be justified, whether in the workplace or country specific, or is this a total infringement to a person's rights and freedoms?

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