REPORT #117 Oct 1999

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

According to a recent report released in France by Reporters, and in colloboration with the Belize Development Trust, the country of Belize has been identified as being among the worst countries that are enemies of the internet for it's citizens.

45 countries restrict Internet access is some way and 21 of them can be called "enemies of the Internet", because they control access totally, or partially, or have censored Web sites, or have taken action against users.

The 21 countries are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia and the Caucasus, along with nearby Belarus; Burma, China, North Korea and Viet Nam in East Asia; Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Tunisia in the Middle East and North Africa; Sierra Leone and Sudan in the rest of Africa; and Cuba and Belize in the Western Hemisphere.

It is observed that on the pretext of protecting the public from subversive ideas, or defending national security and unity, some governments totally prevent their citizens from gaining access to the Internet. Others control a single Internet service provider, or apply sovereign controls through legal figments of the imagination, install filters blocking access to Web sites regardedas unsuitable and sometimes forcing users to officially register with the authorities.

Belize uses a pseudo Sovereign monopoly privatization legality for telecommunications, which has closed down a budding FREENET, deliberately followed a policy of not providing telephone service to remote areas of six districts over 25 years or more, and which threatens any enemies of the telecommunications monopoly with batteries of lawyers, letters of intimidation and the ultimate in sovereign national power by threatening to disconnect anyone objecting about the monopolized telephone service as a legal maneuver. The internet itself is controlled through exorbitant pricing policies and machinations in areas where internet use is unavoidable. Belize is a five year elected controlled party dictatorship autocracy, using a single layer pyramidal political colonial anti-democratic pseudo governing system; and through party control of the national police, the Belize Defense Force has the guns, and the artificial legal means of a party controlled rubber stamp Cabinet, Legislature and Senate to control information access development, or lack thereof. Unlike some of the other pariah internet controlled countries, the system of information access is somewhat more subtly applied along traditional colonial means of autocratic power and intermediary psuedo level stops in the pyramidal system of government and party controls, or by applications of monopoly privatizations presenting a quasi legal "face" on authoritarian controls.

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