Lions, tigers, and bloggers! Oh, my!
The Committee to Protect Journalists issued a report on the "10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger" last week, just days before World Press Freedom Day, today.
Bloggers scare governments.Skip to next paragraph
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Take Turkmenistan. In 2007, it jumped headlong into the digital age with its first Internet cafes – and posted armed soldiers outside.
This list isn’t full of surprises. Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, China, Vietnam, and Tunisia. Most nations are governed by leaders afraid of democracy and the ideas their own people might be exposed to if they have too much contact with the world or each other.
Even before Nargis, this was a nation where only 1 percent of the population had private Internet access. Maybe that has something to do with the punitive cost: $1,300 for a broadband connection. The average Burmese household income is $40 a month, reports Soe Myint, the editor of Mizzima News, a news website in India run by Burmese.
Iran, which calls itself a democracy, is staying abreast of the times by creating a special prosecutor’s office for Internet crimes. New legislation will make it a crime to create a blog that’s determined to be promoting “corruption, prostitution, and apostasy.”