Free speech advocates Reporters Without Borders are considering adding Turkey and Russia to a list of “internet enemies” - governments which pose a threat to the openness of the internet.
Turkey and Russia, along with countries such as Belarus and Iran, have all been placed “under surveillance” for their moves towards internet censorship, the group said.
Russia has been placed on the watchlist for a series of blogger arrests and prosecutions, and for blocking certain websites dubbed “extremist” by the government.
Turkey was added for blocking thousands of sites – including YouTube – for dissemination of topics such as minority issues and the Turkish army.
Even some prosperous democracies were included in this year's watchlist, with Australia added for its plan to implement a compulsory national internet filter, and South Korea because of laws preventing netizens from posting anonymously on-line.
But these countries have not so far been named “enemies of the internet” - that nomenclature is reserved for Saudi Arabia, Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
Some countries - including North Korea, Burma and Turkmenistan - have been added by taking steps to prevent ordinary citizens from accessing the internet, while others, such as Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, were added for implementing major internet filtering regimes.