Net censorship spreads worldwide
Mark Ward, BBC News
Mr Pain said the world's dictators have not remained powerless in the face of the explosion of online content. By contrast, many have been "efficient and inventive" in using the net to spy on citizens and censor debate.
However, noted the report, governments have woken up to the fact that the people they regard as dissidents are active online. Many are now moving to censor blogs and the last year has seen many committed bloggers jailed for what they said in their online journal.Experts: Internet filtering and censorship rife
Mike Steere, CNN
She said governments could use purpose-built filtering technology, censor Web sites, filter search results -- with the assistance of multinational corporations, and block applications and circumvention tools -- to stop online applications like Facebook, YouTube or Voice Over IPs that enable social networking.
Most democracies, and particularly those of the U.S. and India, had unrestricted Internet, though more than 40 countries were known to filter content, he said.How the Mind of a Censor Works: The Psychology of Censorship
And it's not just governments involved in filtering. Search engine Google has been heavily criticized for working with the Chinese government to block searches for material about Taiwan, Tibet, democracy and other sensitive issues on its Chinese portal.
Whether on the Right of the Left, censors share a complex psychological profile.
Behind each attempt to remove a book or video, or block an Internet connection is the magic wand beliefe: if the item is eliminated, the thought is gone.
After our class discussion on Internet censorship, I realized that I have been taking my Internet access for granted. I usually assume that I can find whatever I am looking for, good or bad. I have the freedom to read what I want to read. Not everyone has this same freedom. Many countries ban areas of the Internet. Some ban just pornography. Some ban sites critical of the government. Turkmenistan does not allow its citizens to have the Internet at home, restricting them to Internet cafes only. In Burma, screen shots are taken every five minutes in Internet cafes. Do countries have the right to do this? I don't think I'm the person to say yes or no, but I do know that I am happy to live in a country that allows me to find what I want to find on the Internet. Long live freedom.