Addressing Internet Censorship and Content Filtering: An Advocacy Toolkit for Civil Society Organizations

In South and Southeast Asia, internet censorship and content filtering have become a tool to silence dissent and limit freedom of information. These forms of digital rights violations contribute to the region’s shrinking civic spaces. Recent notable cases include the 2021 blocking of critical progressive websites in the Philippines, under the allegation of “being affiliated to communist-terrorist groups” and the 2023 permanent shutdown of Voice of Democracy in Cambodia for its alleged actions against the “dignity and reputation of the Cambodian Government” in early 2023. Taking these incidents into account, EngageMedia, with the support of the Global Network Initiative, has produced a regional advocacy toolkit on Addressing Internet Censorship and Content Filtering. This toolkit for civil society organizations and advocacy movements empowers existing movements to navigate internet censorship and content filtering.

CensorWatch: On the Implementation of Online Censorship in India

State authorities in India order domestic internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites and services. We developed a mobile application, CensorWatch, that runs network tests to study inconsistencies in how ISPs conduct censorship. We analyse the censorship of 10,372 sites, with measurements collected across 71 networks from 25 states in the country. We find that ISPs in India rely on different methods of censorship with larger ISPs utilizing methods that are harder to circumvent. By comparing blocklists and con- textualising them with specific legal orders, we find concrete evidence that ISPs in India are blocking different websites and engaging in arbitrary blocking, in violation of Indian law. Copyright in FOCI articles are held by their authors. This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Laws cited for Internet Censorship in Malaysia

Laws Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) cites for blocking different categories of websites in addition to Communications Multimedia Act 233 and Copyright Act, also include State Shariah Acts