Iran's issue of shutting down Twittter during the Iranian election, Google's falling out with China regarding censored search content - these are just two of the biggest internet censorship issues that has struck us in the past few months.
China and Iran have always earned their names as internet tyrants. They are usually included in lists of countries suppressing internet freedom. In a recent Enemy of the Internet report, the two countries took the lead in the list.
The report was conducted by a group called Reporters Without Borders, a group advocating censorship-free reporting.
According to the Enemies of the Internet report (PDF), this year's list include what the group called the "worst violators of internet freedom", namely China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Burma, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. Since 2008, the report listed China, Iran, Cuba and North Korea as regulars on the list with some other countries.
However, the list also included countries you never think will censor the internet. For the record, the report listed South Korea and Australia under their "Under Surveillance" category. The report said South Korea is imposing too much restrictions for internet users while Australia has been trying to filter the internet system. Other reports suggests that Australia has actually been filtering other forms of media such as print and television for the past few years now.
The report based its results not only in internet content censorship but also based it on how a country treat its internet users such as harassing internet bloggers and website owners and even detaining them. China ranks at the top having put 72 people in jail for not complying with their censorship rules.