The Paris-based, international organization Reporters without Borders
marked the World Summit on the Information Society - which took place in Tunisia under the auspices of the UN - by publishing a list of "The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch."
The countries the organization defined as "enemies" were those that condone Internet crackdowns, censor-independent news sites, opposition publications and bloggers, and harassing, or even imprisoning Internet users.
The countries included in this category were Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Libya, The Maldives
, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.
In addressing Syria, the Reporters without Borders report stated: "The regime restricts Internet access
to a minority of privileged people, filters the Web and very closely monitors online activity.
A Kurdish journalism student is in prison for posting photos on a foreign-based site of a demonstration in Damascus.
Another Internet user was freed in August 2005 after more than two years in prison for simply passing e-mail on a foreign-produced newsletter. Both were tortured in prison."
The report also included a list of "countries to watch," including the US and the European Union
; these countries were defined as showing a growing interest in controlling the Internet for reasons such as fighting terrorism, pedophilia and Internet-based crime. The measures taken to this end, the report argued, "sometimes threaten freedom of expression."
Israel was not mentioned in the report.