This Financial Post article reports on a new research paper published by the OpenNet Initiative, which finds that in many majority Muslim countries, control of the Internet is based primarily on interpretations of the religious instructions of the Islamic faith. The author of the article, Helmi Noman, is a Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and a Research Affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University. Mr. Noman says that “a number of Internet-specific fatwas (religious decrees) have been layered on top of regulatory boundaries on acceptable use.” For example, fatwas against browsing forbidden websites have resulted in the development of “websites with more palatable content such as, which promises users a Sharia-compatible YouTube-like experience.”

In addition to Islam-friendly and Sharia-compliant websites, Mr. Noman notes that actual state-imposed censorship is made possible thanks to filtering technology built by Western companies like Netsweeper, which the Citizen Lab blogged about here.

For full original article, see here