The Yemeni government has increased its Internet censorship efforts in recent months. Social and political progress has increased in Yemen, and with it the presentation of this progress by means of the Internet. At least 17 separate news and opinion sites have been censored, with some proxy sites being blocked as well.


The government of Yemen has exclusive control over the broadcast media as well, thoroughly controlling Internet access and what is allowed to be viewed. Internet companies providing block site capability are used to filter out questionable content.


The Yemeni regime habitually attempts to co-opt, crush or de-legitimize its opposition, which is the underlying reason behind the censorship efforts to begin with. Any authentic opposition competing for power, according to Yemen authorities and government, must be censored from the general public as not to cause waves of political or violent unrest in the general population. Internet censorship is one of the ways the government exercises control of the public voice, ensuring no public displays of change are allowed to be set into motion.


Internet censorship also isolates the Yemeni people from the rest of the world, blocking information they deem inappropriate from coming into and out of the country. As a result, the economy is not as fruitful as it could be. There are even secret police present in Internet cafe's, further affirming the level of censorship the government deems as necessary.


Censorship in Yemen certainly has its benefits for the country as a whole. Civil or political unrest is a bad thing no matter what the means or cause of it. Censoring certain content that comes through the Internet undoubtedly stops any attempts to overthrow or cause trouble. Even if the economy takes the blow for the censorship regulations, it is much better to be less wealthy than have the entire country at war. Censorship stops such things as embedded secret codes within text, able to be deciphered and read by a trained eye. Although this creates public frustration, the risk of an unregulated medium is far too risky of a proposition for Yemen leaders to allow.


Rather than exercising a general ban according to a wide range of subject matter, the blocking of sites in Yemen is rather selective. Sensitive police issues or contradiction of the government are the two main issues censored from public view. Private e-mails are subject to view by authorities, according to many reports. Pornography is not blocked, however. and is easily accessible to any Internet user within Yemen.


Monopolizing Internet service provisions, the government has been able to keep the cost of Internet access extremely high. The majority of citizens are unable to afford and use it.


Security forces within Yemen constantly require that Internet cafe owners submit the data of those individuals who use the Internet there. Keep all the information you use private and secure using a VPN account also unblock all blocked sites....