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Journalists: Ethiopia refining Internet censorship

The Committee to Protect Journalists says it appears Ethiopia is extending and refining its censorship of Internet news with a sophistication that could encourage other authoritarian regimes in Africa.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government has been blocking major news sites and blog hosts since disputed general election results in 2005 led to violent protests. Voice Over Internet Protocol such as Skype also is blocked, forcing people to use the state telephone system.

A CPJ statement Monday says "the rollout of a far more pervasive and sophisticated blocking system" started in April to include smaller blogs by exiles and news services, and even individual Facebook pages.

"The gap through which undetected, uncensored news gets in and out of Ethiopia is definitely narrowing," encouraging similar action from authoritarian regimes such as Sudan.