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Friday Top 5: Most Reported Countries (Inaccessibility)

As we now know, Internet filtering is no longer limited to the usual suspects (China, Iran, Burma); Herdict has allowed us to get wind of new filtering across the world, in places the OpenNet Initiative has never even tested.  That is why this week we’re bringing you the top 5 countries reporting inaccessibility!

1. Iran comes in at #1 with 63 reports of inaccessible sites.  While that’s not so surprising (after all, Iran is frequently marked by human rights groups as an “Internet enemy“), it’s interesting to note that the most reported sites are all news-related.  BBC Persian, Iran Press News, and others are all trending this week.

2. China, always a high-ranking censor of the Net, is #2 on our list this week.  While the inaccessibility of such sites as  YouTube, Tor, and The Official Website of the Central Tibetan Administration might come as no surprise, 25 inaccessibility reports for The Huffington Post just might.

3. Moldova, for which the OpenNet Initiative found no signs of filtering in 2007, comes in third this week, with 45 reports of inaccessibility.  Sites reported included Moldovan Jurnaltv (an “Internet TV” site which has been reporting on Moldova’s recent uprising), Facebook (only on some ISPs), and Unimedia, a Moldovan news site.

4. United States comes in at #4, with the top reported sites all cases of geolocational filtering (also known as reverse filtering) such as (which limits the site to UK users) and (which is accessible but prohibits users outside of Australia from viewing videos for copyright reasons).  In addition to these cases, there are a number of sites such as Facebook being reported as inaccessible from workplaces or public cafes.

5. Rounding out the list at #5 is Thailand, where the most-reported sites are blogs and social media platforms, such as this Ning group, which is an organizing platform for members of Thailand’s red shirt movement.

What Top 5 list would you like to see next week?  Let us know.

About the Author: Jillian York

Jillian C. York is the Project Coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative and the part of the Herdict team that you should contact if you have any questions about other-language instances of the site or international press. She created most of the textual content on the site, so if you spot something funny, let her know! She's also the face behind the @Herdict Twitter feed.

8 Comments to “Friday Top 5: Most Reported Countries (Inaccessibility)”

  1. David Sasaki:

    Do you keep track of where the Herdict plugin has been downloaded from based on IP?

  2. CJ Hinke:

    We are pleased extensive Internet censorship in Thailand is finally becoming recognised internationally, though obviously we are not happy with the censorship itself.

    Just recently FACT’s website was blocked by Thai govt for the first time since our inception Nov 15, 2006.

  3. John Smith:

    As a foreigner living in Burma this list is ridiculous. Does the author really believe that Thailand or the US has more (or even remotely as much) internet censorship than Burma? In Burma 99% of all external (foreign) web pages are blocked by the government censors. Compiling a list based on “reported inaccessibility” seems a flawed metric for evaluating internet freedoms.

  4. 于成文:


  5. hanum:

    How about Indonesia? Do you know?

  6. jilliancyork:

    Hi John,

    We’re not stating that there is as much censorship in those places as in Burma; we are simply stating that we have received many reports on accessibility from Thailand, as we have from Burma. We’re not using that as a metric for evaluating Internet freedoms at all. The Herdict blog is a space for sharing Herdict news; this is simply news about our platform.

    Jillian C. York

  7. jilliancyork:

    Hi David,

    We do keep track of that information, but thus far, we haven’t used it. Let us know if you have ideas!


  8. Free Email Tracking:

    I am unable to access hotmail, yahoo and many other websites from within Beijing. Are they blocked?