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Censored Syria

April 17th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Business, Politics

blockedDomestic censorship of the internet is one thing, but Syrian internet users face a battle on two fronts. America is doing the job of the Syrian censors.

First it was the whole internet that was blocked in Syria. Then just Hotmail. Then Hotmail was unblocked, and Yahoo Mail was blocked. Then it swapped around again. Then they were both ok. Then Blogger was blocked. Then it was unblocked. Then Facebook was blocked. And stayed blocked.

Syrian internet users run the gauntlet of proxies and tricks to access certain websites deemed a security risk. But now they face a new challenge: corporate America.

If you’re American and you do business with a Syrian, you could go to jail. Some American companies are getting very twitchy and have even stopped Syrian citizens using their service.

Two years ago George Ajjan discovered that ANY website purchased from domain registration company GoDaddy.com would be blocked to Syrian users.

And it seems this perverse practise shows no signs of abating, even as top-level American officials pay visits to Damascus.

Anas reports that all Syrian LinkedIn accounts have just been blocked. He received this explanation from the company:

“Use of LinkedIn services, including our software, is subject to export and re-export control laws and regulations. This includes the … sanctions programs maintained by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

We do not allow member accounts or access to our site from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.”

Some Google services can not be accessed in Syria too. Google is such a principled company.

It seems censorship works both ways.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan // Apr 18, 2009 at 1.06 pm

    ???? ??? ??????? ????? ??????? ??? ???? ??? ??????? ? ????? ??? ????????. ? ?? ???? ???? ??? ??????? ??????? ???????? ?? ?????? ????????? ??? ?????.

    It’s not censorship per se- this is where a fine and fuzzy line between information and services on the internet comes into play. It still does expose a fundamental problem with the American sanctions.

  • 2 Jillian C. York // Apr 18, 2009 at 7.39 pm

    This IS censorship. LinkedIn does not provide paid services (unlike Google or Amazon.com) and is therefore not required by law to participate in sanctions. Twitter and Facebook don’t. Other social networking sites don’t.

    I will be discontinuing use of LinkedIn.

  • 3 America ends internet embargo on Syria | Syria News Wire // Jul 27, 2009 at 2.30 am

    […] computer equipment and internet downloads is being removed. This part of the sanctions has been a source of anger for Syrian computer […]

  • 4 Sorry Syrians, no networking for you! | KABOBfest // Apr 11, 2011 at 12.16 am

    […] and North Koreans, and Sudanese, and Cubans) once and for all. Claiming sanctions, LinkedIn has suspended the accounts of people from the aforementioned […]

  • 5 Cornelius // Jul 19, 2014 at 6.25 pm

    wonderful publish, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this.
    You must proceed your writing. I am confident, you’ve a great readers’
    base already!

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