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Syria faces surveillance, censorship problems amid conflict

More information is coming out regarding the surveillance and censorship of the Internet in Syria, as the violence continues to make the country a hostile environment for journalists and citizens alike.

The ends of the Arab Spring uprisings are still widely unknown. The Egyptian government, for instance, is still in a state of flux as the current military regime ousted the elected President Mohamed Morsi. This is certainly the case in Syria as well, where violence is still on going between rebels and the government.

This has made living in the country difficult for a number of people, including everyday citizens and journalists. Violence has obviously become a major concerns for these people, but activists are finding that the government has also been tracking and censoring the activities of its citizens as well.

Activists discover evidence of surveillance
According to CBS News, a loose group of activists known as Telecomix began monitoring internet access in Syria shortly after the conflict began and uncovered some unsettling information. The group found that there were over 12 devices made by the networking hardware company Blue Coat to track the activity of citizens online. The news source noted that there are currently bans that prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with the Syrian government at this time.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has also found that the devices that were produced in the U.S. are being used to block pro-democracy websites and identify activists who travel to these sites. This is obviously a violation of the individual rights of users in the country, however, it seems as though these kinds of policies will continue as the ruling powers seek to suppress these citizen uprisings.

Journalists face danger
Another concerning element of the state of free speech in the country is the danger that journalists are facing on a daily basis. These writers play an important role in covering the events that are occurring in the country because of how pertinent they are to lives of those living there. Further, they are among the best ways for outsiders to gain insight into the problems that are arising.

The Committee to Protect Journalists recently named it one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2013. The organization reported that at least 29 journalists were killed during the year making it the most deadly country in the world for these writers. Unfortunately, the situation in Syria looks like it could continue to be difficult in the coming years, however, the work that activists and journalists are doing is helping bring these injustices to light.

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