Independent Ethiopian online news forums and blogs based
outside the country also reported
that sites discussing political dissent and human rights were also suddenly
accessible. The editors of the sites linked the development to the February 25
release of the U.S. State Department's "2008
Human Rights Report" on
Ethiopian authorities have consistently denied the accusation despite documented evidence gathered by OpenNet Initiative, an academic partnership that studies Internet censorship.
There has not been any public reaction from the government about this development, according to local journalists. However, a local editor who spoke to me on Tuesday on condition of anonymity told me that a temporary lifting of Internet filtering has been a common occurrence in recent years.
Following a brutal crackdown
on free media and political dissent in 2005, Internet users attempting to
access sites and blogs critical of the government on the network of the
state-controlled national provider Ethiopian
Telecommunications Corporation have seen "the page cannot be displayed"
messages. In February, when CPJ launched its 2008 report
on worldwide press freedom, which included a critical
analysis of conditions in
We'll have to wait and see whether, as international
attention turns away from