Amnesty International has warned that the internet "could change beyond all recognition" unless action is taken against the erosion of online freedoms.
"The Chinese model of an internet that allow economic growth but not free speech or privacy is growing in popularity, from a handful of countries five years ago to dozens of governments today who block sites and arrest bloggers," said Tim Hancock, Amnesty's campaign director. "Unless we act on this issue, the internet could change beyond all recognition in the years to come.
More and more governments are realizing the utility of controlling what people see online and major internet companies, in an attempt to expand their markets, are colluding in these attempts," he said.
Twenty-two-year-old Egyptian blogger Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman was imprisoned for four years in February for insulting Islam and defaming the President of Egypt.
Fellow Egyptian blogger Amr Gharbeia told the BBC that the internet was allowing people to express themselves: "The web is creating a more open society, it is allowing more people to speak out. It's only natural that upsets some people."
We are in for it my friends...they just cannot stand for us to have a free hand on the internet...not only do they want to censor us...they also want to get paid for it too.
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