Internet News - In Brief

Internet

- At the end of March 07, Morocco had 433,399 internet subscribers. This is an 8.4% increase compared to December of the previous year, and a 37.2% increase compared to the same period of 2006. Over 90% of these internet subscriptions are broadband (ADSL or wireless)

- The level of state-led censorship of the net is growing, a study of so-called internet filtering by the Open Net Initiative suggests. The study of thousands of websites across 120 Internet Service Providers found 25 of 41 countries surveyed showed evidence of content filtering. "In five years we have gone from a couple of states doing state-mandated net filtering to 25," said John Palfrey, at Harvard Law School. The survey found evidence of filtering in the following African countries: Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia.

- In Algeria, a total of 899 health centres nationwide will be connected through an intranet by the end of 2007, a Health Ministry official announced in Oran, on the fringes of the 6th International Allergy Congress. So far, 93 such centres, including teaching hospitals, specialized hospitals, provincial health directions, have been connected to the ministry's network, while 134 new connections are expected to take place before summertime, the same source continued.

- Google unveiled a new Arabic version of its popular Google Earth viewing programme, signalling another step in its long-term plan to stimulate Internet use in the Arab world. Currently, Arabic content measures around 150 million Arabic web pages, compared with over 30 billion web pages worldwide, according to Dubai-based Madar Research.