Censorship and Freedom of Speech

Primary Sources

American Civil Liberties Union et al., v. National Security Agency et al.

Author: Anna Diggs Taylor

In the case of the ACLU v. the NSA, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan found the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program to be unconstitutional and called for a halt to such activities. The ruling states that the surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Must Read

HRW: Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship

China’s system of Internet censorship and surveillance, popularly known as the “Great Firewall,” is the most advanced in the world. In this report, Human Rights Watch documents how extensive corporate and private sector cooperation – including by some of the world’s major Internet companies – enables this system of censorship. Research was performed through interviews and extensive testing of search engines inChina, and includes 18 screen shots to illustrate examples of censorship. The report vividly illustrates how various companies, including Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, and Skype block terms they believe the Chinese government will want them to censor.

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Analysis Brief

China's Internet Partners

A congressional panel is highlighting what one member called "abhorrent actions" in China on the part of U.S. software makers, whose Internet search engines in that market are used by Beijing to censor speech and track dissent. Should software companies be expected to enforce democratic notions of free expression or to forego the world's fastest-growing market?

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Must Read

Open Net Initiative: Internet Filtering in Yemen in 2004-2005 (PDF)

This report argues that while the Republic of Yemen substantially filters material on topics related to sex, sexuality and gambling, the state does not try to control broadly what its citizens see on the Internet. For instance, unlike certain other states that filter Internet content, Yemen does not block political content and its blocking of religious content is limited, focusing only on a small number of anti-Islam sites.

See more in Yemen; Censorship and Freedom of Speech; Internet Policy