The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria has noted the country's government has stepped up its censorship of the Internet, blocking access to a string of websites critical of the regime, including some run by leading dailies. 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. 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.
News source: Physorg