Using terror as a pretext

Thursday, 5 September 2002, 10:06 AM EST

Several Western democracies have become "predators of digital freedoms," using the fight against terrorism to increase surveillance on the Internet, an international media-rights group said Thursday.

Reporters Without Borders criticized not only authoritarian states such as China that tightly police Internet use, but also Western governments including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Denmark and the European Parliament.

"A year after the tragic events in New York and Washington, the Internet can be included on the list of 'collateral damage,'" the Paris-based group said in a report. "Cyber-liberty has been undermined and fundamental digital freedoms have been amputated."

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