This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first blacklisting of the internet by the United Nations’ World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C.
In the first ever case, the US government blocked a number of sites in 2009, but the list has since expanded to include a number more countries and more countries with overlapping interests in internet governance.
The list includes sites like wikileaks.org, the website that has been dubbed the “Google of WikiLeaks” by the Wikileaks supporters, which was the subject of a massive US government hack.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his organization are among those to have their domains blocked in the US.
The UK-based tech website the Verge, which has been criticized for supporting Wikileaks, was blocked from the internet last year, and the site was taken offline by a government-backed ISP last year.
The US government’s decision to block websites from the W3G is the latest in a series of actions by the US in recent years that have made the internet more difficult to access, but are not necessarily harmful.
“In the United States, the internet has been the most accessible and valuable platform for free expression in recent decades, but it has been increasingly under siege,” says Nick Grewal, the UK-born co-founder of the UK’s Open Rights Group.
“The US has always been more restrictive than most countries, but in recent months, the pace of new government moves to censor the internet have slowed.
The W3Gs latest decision to stop blacklisting the internet makes it easier for the US to claim that its censorship is being justified.”
The W4C’s blacklisting was launched in 2012 to address what it described as “the growing threat of malware and cyber-espionage” on the internet.
While many countries have implemented similar blacklisting efforts in recent times, the W4Cs first blacklist has largely been ignored by the public.
The new blacklisting is the first in which the US has attempted to block an entire site from being accessible, despite the fact that some countries are not even included in the list.
The site, wikileaks, has a wide range of online news, political, and tech content.
The most recent blocked page was an article on the UK government’s Home Office, which details plans to “roll back online surveillance and censorship measures” and “expand the reach of the Home Office’s powers of surveillance.”
The US Department of Homeland Security also blocked a page from the US Embassy in Washington, DC, which discussed how to “improve our surveillance of foreign governments, organizations, and individuals.”
A page in Saudi Arabia also received a ban, as did an article by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem on the Israeli military’s “cyberwarfare” campaign against Palestinian protests.
However, in its announcement of the ban, the government cited the need to “combat terrorist propaganda.”
The UK and UK-administered countries are also on the W5, a list of countries with more than 100 domains.
The government has blocked several sites in the past, including those linked to Wikileaks and the Wikileaks Foundation, which promotes information about WikiLeaks and other whistleblowing organizations.
The Guardian reported last year that in 2015, the FBI, US Department Of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, and other US agencies blocked a variety of sites that are used to provide information on the countrys cyberwarfare capabilities, including the Wikileaks site.
The blocking of the Wikileaks website, however, came after the site’s founder Julian Snowden had revealed that the US National Security Agency had tapped the servers of Wikileaks to spy on foreign governments.