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[liberationtech] Internet Censorship and Control

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Jun 21 08:11:31 PDT 2013

The Internet is and has always been a space where participants battle for
control. The two core protocols that define the Internet – TCP and IP – are
both designed to allow separate networks to connect to each other easily,
so that networks that differ not only in hardware implementation (wired vs.
satellite vs. radio networks) but also in their politics of control
(consumer vs. research vs. military networks) can interoperate easily. It
is a feature of the Internet, not a bug, that China – with its extensive,
explicit censorship infrastructure – can interact with the rest of the

In the following collection, published as an open access collection here
and as well in a special issue of IEEE Internet Computing, we present five
peer reviewed papers on the topic of Internet censorship and control. The
topics of the papers include a broad look at information controls,
censorship of microblogs in China, new modes of online censorship, the
balance of power in Internet governance, and control in the certificate
authority model. These papers make it clear that there is no global
consensus on what mechanisms of control are best suited for managing
conflicts on the Internet, just as there is none for other fields of human
endeavour. That said, there is optimism that with vigilance and continuing
efforts to maintain transparency the Internet can stay as a force for
increasing freedom than a tool for more efficient repression.

This collection was edited by Steven J. Murdoch of the University of
Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Hal Roberts of the Berkman Center for
Internet & Society at Harvard University.


   - Introduction to Special Issue on Internet Censorship and Control by
   Steven J. Murdoch and Hal Roberts.
   - Not by Technical Means Alone: The Multidisciplinary Challenge of
   Studying Information Controls by Masashi Crete-Nishihata, Ronald J.
   Deibert, and Adam Senft.
   - Assessing Censorship on Microblogs in China: Discriminatory Keyword
   Analysis and Impact Evaluation of the 'Real Name Registration' Policy by
   King-wa Fu, Chung-hong Chan and Michael Chau.
   - Censorship V3.1 by Derek E. Bambauer.
   - Anarchy, State, or Utopia? Checks and Balances of Power in Internet
   Governance by Christopher M. Riley.
   - Trust Darknet: Control and Compromise in the Internet's Certificate
   Authority Model by Steven B. Roosa and Stephen Schultze.
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