01 April 2007

Internet censorship, at home or state-run, is a political hot potato

by Seth Finkelstein. Would you be surprised to hear US civil liberties groups arguing that internet censorship is cheap, easy, relatively effective and difficult to circumvent? While in reaction, the US government claimed that such efforts had an unacceptable amount of collateral damage? Yet that's what has been happening for more than a decade in litigation involving censoring the internet. While these arguments sometimes descend into a fog of statistics, the overall implications are important for public policy. In the UK, a different set of censorship issues has arisen with BT's Cleanfeed project, intended to block content that is illegal, as gathered by the Internet Watch Foundation.