Rights groups called on Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft not to censor their Web search engines one day next week to help protest cyber censorship.
"World Day Against Cyber Censorship is a day to advance and celebrate a free Internet as an open window to the world and denounce the attacks made on the free flow of information online," Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International said in a letter to the tech giants yesterday.
"In the spirit of fostering freedom of expression, we are asking that you do not censor any of your search engines or blog platforms anywhere around the world on this day," they said.
"We urge you, on March 12th, to champion the vision of the Internet as a free space for everyone, regardless of nationality or geographic location, and fulfill the idea of a truly worldwide Web -- even if just for one day.
"This would send a strong message to all "netizens" - individuals, organizations and states alike - that censorship online is not the only way forward," they said.
RSF and Amnesty said that currently, "there are more than two dozen countries restricting Internet access on a regular basis.