The Internet on Probation

Reporters Without Borders, a group that advocates for greater press freedoms, has issued a report warning that security abuses by the world's governments in the year since September 11 have increasingly put the Internet under the control of government security forces. Many countries have introduced facilities for general retention of data about people's e-mail traffic and Internet activity, turning Internet service providers and telecommunications companies into "a potential arm of the police." The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the G8 nations have all challenged cyber-freedoms. "What would the citizens of Europe and elsewhere do," asked RWB's Robert Menard, "if they were told a law had been passed allowing what they sent through the post to be routinely read by the police at any time