Vietnamese authorities face a dilemma common to authoritarian systems. The desire for economic development that builds on the new technologies clashes with fear of political instability growing out of digital activism.
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Bahrain has one of the best levels of Internet coverage in the Middle East. With an Internet penetration rate of 77%, most Bahrainis are connected. Connection speeds are fairly good (ranging from 512k to more than 20M, according to the region) and the number of Internet Service Providers is very high for the size of the population (23 ISPs for 1.25 million inhabitants). Batelco, operated by the royal family, is the most important one.... Read More
Syria, which Reporters Without Borders has already listed as an “Internet Enemy,” has stepped up web censorship and cyber-monitoring as the country’s conflict has intensified. Since the uprising began on 15 March 2011, the regime has deployed systems designed to prevent the spread of news and images documenting the official campaign to crush the rebellion. An ultra-centralized internet architecture allows the government to cut off the country from the rest of the world, a step that authorities took on 29 November 2012 and which lasted two days.... Read More
Iran has more than 150 Internet Service Providers or companies advertising themselves as such. Many of these services have been privatized since 2009 but that does not mean they have become fully independent of the government. The leading ones are still linked to the government and all are accountable to it. This biggest one, DCI, is owned by the Revolutionary Guards. .Novinnet,Shatel,Asretelecom,Pardis,Persian-net,Tehrandat,Neda,Askiran and Tavana are the other leading ISPs.
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The Chinese Communist Party runs one of the world’s biggest digital empires, if not the biggest. In the Middle Kingdom, all Internet access is owned by the state, which is usually another way of saying the Party. Individuals and companies have to rent their broadband access from the Chinese state or a state-controlled company. The four national networks, CTNET, Chinanet, Cernet and CHINAGBN, are the backbone of the Internet in China. The network was restructured in 2008, leading to the emergence of three major national service providers, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, in all of which the state has a majority control. Public access to the Internet is delegated to regional companies.... Read More