- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
The Open Net Initiative has a fascinating new report out about how Middle Eastern and North African dictatorships are using web-filtering technologies developed by American and Canadian companies to censor the Internet from their own citizens. At least nine countries are using technologies like Netsweeper, Websense, and SmartFilter — originally designed to allow companies and schools to censor pornography and other objectionable material.
The paper also features some of the cringe-worthy landing pages that users in these countries get when they try to access objectionable material. This one’s from Qatar’s QTel internet service:
Here’s the UAE’s:
The whole paper is well worth checking out, as is Jillian York’s blog post on its findings at Al Jazeera.