World Day Against Cyber Censorship

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World Day Against Cyber Censorship is an online event held each year on March 12 to rally support for a single, unrestricted Internet that is accessible to all and to draw attention to the ways that governments around the world are deterring and censoring free speech online.[1] The day was first observed on 12 March 2008 at the request of Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. A letter written by Jean-François Julliard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, was sent to the Chief Executive Officers of Google, Yahoo!, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation to request observation of the day.[2] The annual event is symbolized by a logo created by Reporters Without Borders consisting of a computer mouse breaking free from a chain.[3]

Netizen Prize[edit]

RWB 2011 Netizen Prize

On World Day Against Cyber Censorship, Reporters Without Borders awards an annual Netizen Prize that recognizes an Internet user, blogger, cyber-dissident, or group who has made a notable contribution to the defense of online freedom of expression.[4][5] Starting in 2010 the prize has been awarded to:

Enemies of the Internet list[edit]

In conjunction with World Day Against Cyber Censorship, Reporters Without Borders updates its Enemies of the Internet and Countries Under Surveillance lists.[11][12]

In 2006, Reporters without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press, started publishing a list of "Enemies of the Internet".[13] The organization classifies a country as an enemy of the internet because "all of these countries mark themselves out not just for their capacity to censor news and information online but also for their almost systematic repression of Internet users."[14] In 2007 a second list of countries "Under Surveillance" (originally "Under Watch") was added.[15]

When the "Enemies of the Internet" list was introduced in 2006, it listed 13 countries. From 2006 to 2012 the number of countries listed fell to 10 and then rose to 12. The list was not updated in 2013. In 2014 the list grew to 19 with an increased emphasis on surveillance in addition to censorship. The list has not been updated since 2014.

When the "Countries under surveillance" list was introduced in 2008, it listed 10 countries. Between 2008 and 2012 the number of countries listed grew to 16 and then fell to 11. The number grew to 12 with the addition of Norway in 2020. The list was last updated in 2020.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "March 12: 'World Day Against Cyber-Censorship'". The Atlantic. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. ^ Copy of a letter dated 6 March 2009 from Jean-Francois Julliard, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders, and Larry Cox, Executive Director of Amnesty International, to Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer, Google, Carol Bartz, Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo!, Inc., and Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation.
  3. ^ "World Day Against Cyber Censorship". Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ "March 12: World Day Against Cyber-Censorship", Maira Sutton, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 12 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Reporters Without Borders : For Freedom of Information", Brochure, Reporters Without Borders, 16 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Iranian women's rights activists win first Reporters Without Borders netizen prize with support from Google". Reporters Without Borders. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  7. ^ Reporters Without Borders (25 March 2011). "Netizen Prize 2011". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Syrian citizen journalists and activists capture 2012 Netizen Prize", Reporters Without Borders, 13 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Reporters Without Borders Awards Vietnamese blogger Huynh Ngoc Chenh", Reporters Without Borders, 7 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Reporters Without Borders - TV5Monde Prize for Press Freedom", Reporters Without Borders, 5 November 2014
  11. ^ "Reporters Without Borders releases 'Enemies of the Internet' list", France24 (France Médias Monde), 13 March 2014.
  12. ^ "First Online Free Expression Day launched on Reporters Without Borders website". Reports Without Borders. 12 March 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  13. ^ List of the 13 Internet enemies Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 11 July 2006.
  14. ^ "Internet enemies", Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 12 March 2009.
  15. ^ Web 2.0 versus Control 2.0. Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 18 March 2010.
  16. ^ a b Internet Enemies Archived 2012-03-23 at the Wayback Machine, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 12 March 2012
  17. ^ "Internet Enemies", Enemies of the Internet 2014: Entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 11 March 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.

External links[edit]