January 03, 2006

"Cool Tools for Tyrants" - Governments Applying Censorware

The article "Cool Tools for Tyrants", by Derek Bambauer, is a fascinating examination of dictatorial government's use of censorware:

[my emphasis added below]

"Despite China's five million bloggers, the Communist Party remains firmly in control of the nation and, for the most part, the Internet within its borders. Iran's blogging community is perhaps the country's liveliest political arena, yet the authoritarian Iranian government is stronger than ever, especially after a resounding victory in February 2004 elections. Contrary to the utopian view that the Internet evades local control, governments are proving adept at controlling the information that their citizens receive and share. Market freedom does not necessarily lead to personal freedom. We must at times limit the first to safeguard the second; the right to sell must sometimes yield to protect the right to speak."

This is the sort of stance that, politically, I'd be poorly positioned to advocate. Too many experiences of being flamed by Libertarians, combined with bad memories of all the times I was accused of being against technology. In a way, it's heartwarming to see it becoming so respectable (though sadly, not all that helpful to me personally :-().

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on January 03, 2006 12:32 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Anyone who relies on technological barriers to censorship is putting down mindfields which they will one day be on the wrong side of.

Posted by: Danny Yee at January 3, 2006 05:13 PM