As the countdown to the Beijing Olympics nears four months, James Fallows explains the intricacies of China's internet censorship tools and how the Chinese government will allow foreign visitors access an unfettered web. Chinese citizens are often blocked from information, such as reports on crack downs in Tibet, that the government prefers to cover up. This article reveals the government’s motives behind the censorship and how the “Great Firewall of China” works.
Economist technology writer Kenneth Neil Cukier discusses issues he raised in a 2005 Foreign Affairs article about control of the Internet. At present the United States holds the most power, but other nations are clamoring to have a say.
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.
U.S. Internet companies have long been accused of helping Beijing censor content. But aided by a U.S. government push for Internet freedom, some private-sector-led groups are working toward ensuring greater respect for privacy and free speech.
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?
Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution. Washington has responded with a Monroe Doctrine for our times, setting the stage for further controversy.
Produced by the UN Working Group on Internet Governance, this report attempts to deal with unresolved issues from the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society regarding management and control of the Internet.
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.
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