Censorship of the Internet


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  • The legal problems are much the same as offline censorship, but implementation can be much harder due to the more permeable national borders.
  • Political Reasons : This category is focused primarily on Web sites that express views in opposition to those of the current government. Content more broadly related to human rights, freedom of expression, minority rights, and religious movements is also considered here.
  • In China, law states that no unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information:
  • As you can see, internet censorship in China is among the most stringent in the world. The government blocks Web sites that discuss the Dalai Lama, the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters, the Falun Gong banned spiritual movement and other Internet sites deemed innappropriate by these broad standards In addition to its massive firewall and intrusive software, the government employs thousands of paid commentators who pose as ordinary Web users to counter criticism of the government. Known as "50 Cent Party" members, these shapers of public opinion are often paid 50 Chinese cents for each posting. Censorship in China continues to increase regardless of the opposition at home and abroad. In January, Google announced it would cease operations with China if they continued to filter search engine results. China responded by saying the companies operating inside the country must abide by their laws.
  • Social Reasons : This category covers material related to sexuality, gambling, and illegal drugs and alcohol, as well as other topics that may be socially sensitive or perceived as offensive.
  • Also in 2002, and under the terms of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 , the Federal Court ordered Dr Fredrick Töben to remove material from his Australian website which denied aspects of The Holocaust and vilified Jews. [22] [23] In 2006, Richard Neville published a "spoof" website that had a fictional transcript of John Howard apologising to Aboriginal Australians. The website was forcibly taken offline by the government with no recourse. [24] In 2008, the Australian Labor Party introduced a policy of mandatory Internet filtering for all Australians. While the policy has not yet come into force, it has generated substantial opposition, with only a few groups in support. The Labor Party does not have enough votes in the Senate to enact any legislation to support the filter, so that the filter has "effectively been scuttled" unless the government is able to implement the filter by other means. [1] [2]
  • On Tuesday 15 December 2009, it was announced that new legislation, entitled "Measures to improve safety of the internet for families", would be introduced to support mandatory Internet filtering
  • Conflict/Security Reasons : Content related to armed conflicts, border disputes, separatist movements, and militant groups is included in this category.
  • In 2007 it described Syria as the biggest prison for cyber-dissidents in the Middle East because of the number of arrests and mistreatments of online activists. In 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists named Syria number three in a list of the ten worst countries in which to be a blogger, given the arrests, harassments and restrictions which online writers in Syria have faced. Media is primarily owned by the government. The government admits to censoring “pro-Israel and hyper-Islamist” Web sites, such as those run by the illegal Muslim Brotherhood, and those calling for autonomy for Syrian Kurds. 9 In defense of these practices, former Minister of Technology and Communications Amr Salem has said that “Syria is currently under attack … and if somebody writes, or publishes or whatever, something that supports the attack, they will be tried The Syrian authorities extended their censorship of Internet activities and monitoring of Internet users in March 2008 by ordering Internet café users to provide their names, identification cards, and the times they use the Internet café to Internet café owners, who will subsequently present them to the authorities. Government officials said these measures were necessary to guard against what they described as attempts to spread sectarian divisions and "penetration by Israel.. Similarly, Facebook was blocked because it could become a conduit for Israeli penetration of Syrian youth. According to advocacy group the Syrian Media Center, at least 153 Internet sites have been blocked, among which are Blogger, the Arabic blogging host service Maktoob, YouTube, and Web sites of opposition parties, Lebanese newspapers and Lebanese groups opposed to “Syrian interference in Lebanon. Violators or suspected violators are detained and imprisoned even with no proof.
  • Porn – protect children from social implications of being exposed to graphic material
  • Blacklist- usually not published or known to the public, can also be a list of IP addresses
  • Web feed blocking – not blocked based on content, but simply due to the type of website Reverse surveillance- Computers accessing certain websites including Google are automatically exposed to reverse scanning from the ISP in an apparent attempt to extract further information from the "offending" system
  • Proxy websites are often the simplest and fastest way to access banned websites in censored nations. Such websites work by being themselves un-banned but capable of displaying banned material within them. This is usually accomplished by entering a URL address which the proxy website will fetch and display. They recommend using the https protocol since it is encrypted and harder to block. Using Virtual Private Networks , a user who experiences internet censorship can create a secure connection to a more permissive country, and browse the internet as if they were situated in that country. Some services are offered for a monthly fee, others are ad-supported. Psiphon software allows users in nations with censored Internet such as China to access banned websites like Wikipedia . The service requires that the software be installed on a computer with uncensored access to the Internet so that the computer can act as a proxy for users in censored environments. [6] Tor-has been described in detail by another classmate A data haven is a computer or a network that holds data protected from government action by both technical means ( encryption ) and location in a country that has either no laws , or poorly-enforced laws restricting use of data and no extradition treaties
  • Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can’t be freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack. Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are " routed-through " other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is. As a direct result of the anonymity requirements, the node requesting a piece of data does not normally connect directly to the node that has it; instead, the data is routed across several intermediaries, none of which know which node requested the data or which one had it. Users contribute to the network by giving bandwidth and a portion of their hard drive (called the "data store") for storing files. Unlike other peer-to-peer file sharing networks , Freenet does not let the user control what is stored in the data store. Instead, files are kept or deleted depending on how popular they are, with the least popular being discarded to make way for newer or more popular content . Files in the data store are encrypted to reduce the likelihood of prosecution by persons wishing to censor Freenet content. The network can be used in a number of different ways and isn't restricted to just sharing files like other peer-to-peer networks. It acts more like an Internet within an Internet. Highly survivable : All internal processes are completely anonymized and decentralized across the global network, making it virtually impossible for an attacker to destroy information or take control of the system. Private: Freenet makes it extremely difficult for anyone to spy on the information that you are viewing, publishing, or storing. Secure: Information stored in Freenet is protected by strong cryptography against malicious tampering or counterfeiting. Efficient: Freenet dynamically replicates and relocates information in response to demand to provide efficient service and minimal bandwidth usage regardless of load.
  • Censorship of the Internet

    1. 2. <ul><li>Internet censorship is control or suppression of </li></ul><ul><li>the publishing or accessing of information on </li></ul><ul><li>the Internet. </li></ul>
    2. 3. <ul><li>Political Reasons : This category is focused primarily on Web sites that express views in opposition to those of the current government. Content more broadly related to human rights, freedom of expression, minority rights, and religious movements is also considered here. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Reasons : This category covers material related to sexuality, gambling, and illegal drugs and alcohol, as well as other topics that may be socially sensitive or perceived as offensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict/Security Reasons : Content related to armed conflicts, border disputes, separatist movements, and militant groups is included in this category. </li></ul>
    3. 4. Source: OpenNet Initiative. <http://opennet.net/research/map>. China North Korea Iran Syria Vietnam Burma Pakistan Saudi Arabia Uzbekistan Kazakhstan
    4. 5. <ul><li>Inciting to resist or breaking the Constitution or laws or the implementation of administrative regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Inciting to overthrow the government or the socialist system </li></ul><ul><li>Inciting division of the country, harming national unification </li></ul><ul><li>Inciting hatred or discrimination among nationalities or harming the unity of the nationalities </li></ul>
    5. 6. <ul><li>Making falsehoods or distorting the truth, spreading rumors, destroying the order of society </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting feudal superstitions, sexually suggestive material, gambling, violence, murder </li></ul><ul><li>Terrorism or inciting others to criminal activity; openly insulting other people or distorting the truth to slander people </li></ul><ul><li>Injuring the reputation of state organs </li></ul><ul><li>Other activities against the Constitution, laws or administrative regulations </li></ul>
    6. 7. <ul><li>Websites required to employ people who monitor and delete objectionable content </li></ul><ul><li>Others are paid to “guide” bulletin board web exchanges in the governments favor </li></ul><ul><li>30,000+ Internet Police allow for critical comments made on blogs or internet forums to be deleted in minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Infractions punishable by large fines and/or prison time </li></ul>
    7. 8. Source: OpenNet Initiative. <http://opennet.net/research/map>. United States Canada Germany Australia Brazil Sweden Italy Peru Argentina
    8. 9. <ul><li>History of banning offensive internet material </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2002 – The Holocaust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006 – John Howard apology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Australian Labor Party introduced a policy of mandatory filtering for all Australians (2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generated substantial opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough votes to create legislation that way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blacklist maintained by the government leaked </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. <ul><li>&quot;Measures to improve safety of the internet for families” (2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Euthenasia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Racism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child and Abusive Pornography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegal sites (gambling, directions for drug use, etc) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Source: OpenNet Initiative. <http://opennet.net/research/map>. China Pakistan Iran Burma Saudi Arabia India Ethiopia Morocco Thailand Syria
    11. 12. <ul><li>Ranked among the 13 enemies of the internet by Reporters Without Borders </li></ul><ul><li>Filters heavily and strictly monitors internet usage </li></ul><ul><li>Users prompted to self-censor and self-monitor themselves in order to avoid severe punishment </li></ul>
    12. 13. <ul><li>Pornography </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>Wikileaks </li></ul><ul><li>Political Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Nazi and Similar Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>Websites Associated with Censorship Circumvention </li></ul>Most Commonly Targeted Websites:
    13. 14. <ul><li>Blacklist – A list of websites that are deemed unsuitable for the public. </li></ul><ul><li>IP Blocking – Access to certain IP addresses is denied </li></ul><ul><li>DNS Filtering and Redirection – Filter won’t resolve domain names, or will return the incorrect IP address </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>Uniform Resource Locator (URL) Filtering – Scans the URL string for target keywords regardless of the domain name specified in the URL </li></ul><ul><li>Packet Filtering – Packets are terminated when a certain number of controversial keywords are detected </li></ul><ul><li>Connection Reset – If previous TCP connection is blocked, future connection attempts from both sides will be blocked </li></ul>
    15. 16. <ul><li>Web Feed Blocking – URLs staring with “rss”, “feed”, or “blog” are blocked. </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse Surveillance – Computers accessing certain websites are automatically exposed to reverse scanning </li></ul>
    16. 17. <ul><li>Proxy Websites – un-banned websites that can display banned material within them </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) – a secure connection to a more permissive country </li></ul><ul><li>Psiphon – software that allows users to access banned websites </li></ul><ul><li>Tor – free software that allows users to bypass censorship while allowing strong anonymity </li></ul><ul><li>Data Havens – computer or network that hold data protected from government action </li></ul>
    17. 18. <ul><li>Uses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publishing websites or ‘freesites’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating via message boards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly survivable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficient </li></ul></ul>
    18. 19. <ul><li>OpenNet Initative: </li></ul><ul><li>http://opennet.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>Reporters Without Borders (RSF): </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.rsf.org/index.php?page=rubrique&id_rubrique=2 </li></ul><ul><li>The FreeNet Project </li></ul><ul><li>http://freenetproject.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia – Internet Censorship: </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship/ </li></ul><ul><li>Censorship in the US (ACLU): </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.aclu.org /free-speech/internet-censorship </li></ul>
    19. 20. &quot;I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.&quot; --- Thomas Jefferson