Internet Policy

Must Read

Atlantic Monthly: The Connection Has Been Reset

Author: James Fallows

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.

See more in China; Internet Policy

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.

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

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

News Release

U.S. Influence Over Cyberspace Is Eroding, Warns Adam Segal in New CFR Book, The Hacked World Order

“While it should continue to promote and espouse the virtues of an open, global, and secure Internet, the United States must prepare for a more likely future—a highly contested, nationally divided cyberspace,” writes Adam Segal, director of the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, in his new book, The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy


Obama and Cuban Twitter

Author: Julia E. Sweig
Folha de Sao Paulo

Following the revelation of USAID's deployment of a secret Twitter-inspired communications platform in Cuba, Julia Sweig reflects, in her column, on U.S.-Cuba relations and on the loose definition of democracy-promotion in foreign policy.

See more in Americas; Internet Policy


Wrong Side of the Law

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
South China Morning Post

Jerome A. Cohen states, "The Chinese government's current suppression of rising internet protests against its barbaric abuse of the blind 'barefoot lawyer' Chen Guangcheng raises fundamental questions about the impact of legal reforms on real life in China."

See more in Rule of Law; China; Internet Policy


The Chinese Internet Century

Author: Adam Segal
Foreign Policy

Adam Segal argues that while, "China's cyberaggression doesn't mean that the United States should stop all attempts at engagement," the goal of an open and transparent Web may not be realistic.

See more in China; Internet Policy

Other Report

A New Framework for Cross-Border Data Flows

Author: Karen Kornbluh

The flow of data across international borders creates jurisdictional challenges and causes international tensions. Increasingly, countries have responded by imposing new requirements to store data locally, threatening cross-border data flows, which generate approximately $2.8 trillion of global gross domestic product each year. CFR Senior Fellow for Digital Policy Karen Kornbluh argues that the United States should take the lead in addressing these tensions.

See more in Europe; United States; Internet Policy; Privacy

Other Report

Countering Islamic State Exploitation of the Internet

Author: David P. Fidler

The use of social media and other Internet-enabled communications by the self-proclaimed Islamic State is pushing the United States and other democracies to react to the abuse of liberal freedoms by illiberal forces. CFR Visiting Fellow David P. Fidler outlines ways to counter the Islamic State's online onslaught through policies anchored in free speech, transparency, and accountability. 

See more in Syria; Iraq; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy