Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Censorware...Just say no

Long-term readers may know how I feel about internet filtering companies that sell to oppressive governments. For those of you who do not know, you can read a post about it here. For others hoping to reach people behind the filtered curtain, here's some advice here.

From: When US-made 'censorware' ends up in iron fists

The filtering software, in fact, may have given the Burmese regime enough of a false sense of security to allow Internet access in the first place, some suggest.

"Without [Internet filtering tools], there wouldn't have been access to begin with because [citizens] wouldn't have been trusted with it," says Bill Woodcock, also with the Packet Clearing House. Nor does pressure for censorship always come from the top, he adds. "In much of the world, the Internet is seen as this horrible sewer that is bringing things in that the government [feels popular pressure] to stop."

Internet-censorship tools can be defeated with the use of proxy servers. But many people living under repressive government are not going to hear about, or dare to try, methods to get around Internet fire walls, say experts.

"Some people say [censorware] is ineffective because dissidents can get around it," says Seth Finkelstein, a programmer and anticensorship activist. "I say political control doesn't have to be 100 percent to be effective. Controlling the ability of the vast majority of the population to see outside information is still very effective for the goals of the totalitarian regime."


Beja said...

Proxies are used all the time in Iran. Most companies don't have censorship, at least not entirely comparable to the censorship that common folks have.

I know that proxies are forwarded through email listservs that basically send people who are interested proxy-sites almost on a bi-weekly phase. That got me through some filters but not many.

Myspace was filtered and I had to get on to update on some issues with child executions (nazanin fatehi) and that was done through a window page.

I wrote about censorship on my second post I was the second time I'd been online and something was filtered...:(

Tori said...

Beja, A friend of ours in Tehran told us she got her internet bill with instructions for using circumventors printed on the OUTSIDE of the envelope! What bothered me more than filtering in Iran was the lack of bandwidth.

Anonymous said...

Visit WWW.SAVELOUIS.COM and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Visit WWW.SAVELOUIS.COM and enjoy.

Beja said...

What the hell?

I think I should say "vat da heel??" to be a little more fair to my time spent there!

That's absurd haha...see that's the thing that probably bothered people most in the book "know thine enemy"(sp?). What does that meaaaaaaaaaannnn?

It was just like having the taxi driver curse the driving in midday sweltering-heat traffic then watch him pass a car from the left without so much as a blinker or a smile! the epitome of extremes, where there's no sense of the guarantee of centrality but constant extremity.