Azerbaijan Restricts Internet Access

TORONTO (Noyan Tapan)–The international media watchdog group–Reporters Without Borders–cited Azerbaijan as one of 40 countries which denies or restricts access to the internet–according to a recently released report.

The report called 20 of the 40 countries "enemies of the internet." Among those 20 countries are Azerbaijan–Kazakhstan–Kyrgyzstan–Turkmen’stan–Uzbekistan–Belarus–Burma–China–Cuba–North Korea–Saudi Arabia–Sierra Leone–Sudan–Tunis and Vietnam.

These countries have reportedly said that their anti-internet policy stems from the governmen’s’ desire to defend their population from so-called "dangerous thoughts." Others have cited national security reasons for disallowing the internet provider services.

The report also said that Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have special providers which are under the control of the government. Reporters Without Borders said that those government have persecuted individuals or groups that have vocalized their opposition to such restrictions.

Other countries–such as Belarus–have internet providers but those companies are government owned. Belarus punishes media outlets that utilize the internet.

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