DAMASCUS (AFP) -Syria has stepped up its muzzling of the Internet, blocking access to a string of websites critical of the regime, including some run by leading dailies, a human rights group said on Saturday.
Sites blocked by firewalls within Syria include the Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat (The Middle East) and the Beirut newspaper Al-Mustaqbal (The Future) run by the family of slain Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria said.
E-mail provider Hotmail has also been blocked since July 17 last year, the watchdog added.
“Freedom of the Internet is regressing in Syria after the authorities blocked access to a string of independent websites,” the group complained.
In November 2005, media watchdog Reporters without Borders named Syria as one of 15 enemies of the Internet around the world.