An introduction to the issue of censoring the internet

EFA subsequently undertook extensive research into the current status of laws and government policy outside Australia. EFA was unable to find any indication that any country broadly comparable to Australia in terms of democratic political systems and cultures has, or intends to introduce, Internet censorship laws as restrictive as the provisions of the NSW Bill, nor as restrictive as existing Commonwealth legislation. While numerous countries have laws of general application applicable to Internet content such as child pornography or incitement to racial hatred, they do not prohibit or otherwise restrict provision of "matter unsuitable for minors" on the Internet. The lack of similar laws in comparable countries is not due to a failure of Parliaments or Governments to consider the problems of illegal content or content unsuitable for minors on the Internet.

An introduction to the issue of censoring the internet

Overview[ edit ] Many of the challenges associated with Internet censorship are similar to those for offline censorship of more traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, books, music, radio, television, and film. One difference is that national borders are more permeable online: Thus censors must work to prevent access to information even though they lack physical or legal control over the websites themselves.

This in turn requires the use of technical censorship methods that are unique to the Internet, such as site blocking and content filtering.

A Time Magazine article quotes computer scientist John Gilmoreone of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundationas saying "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

Blocking and filtering can be based on relatively static blacklists or be determined more dynamically based on a real-time examination of the information being exchanged. Blacklists may be produced manually or automatically and are often not available to non-customers of the blocking software.

Blocking or filtering can be done at a centralized national level, at a decentralized sub-national level, or at an institutional level, for example in libraries, universities or Internet cafes.

In some cases the censoring authorities may surreptitiously block content to mislead the public into believing that censorship has not been applied. This is achieved by returning a fake "Not Found" error message when an attempt is made to access a blocked website.

Pseudonymity and data havens such as Freenet protect free speech using technologies that guarantee material cannot be removed and prevents the identification of authors.

Technologically savvy users can often find ways to access blocked content. Nevertheless, blocking remains an effective means of limiting access to sensitive information for most users when censors, such as those in Chinaare able to devote significant resources to building and maintaining a comprehensive censorship system.

The verb " rivercrab " colloquially refers to censorship of the Internet, particularly in Asia. Access to a certain IP address is denied. If the target Web site is hosted in a shared hosting serverall websites on the same server will be blocked. A typical circumvention method is to find proxies that have access to the target websites, but proxies may be jammed or blocked, and some Web sites, such as Wikipedia when editingalso block proxies.

An introduction to the issue of censoring the internet

Some large websites such as Google have allocated additional IP addresses to circumvent the block, but later the block was extended to cover the new addresses.

Due to challenges with geolocationgeo-blocking is normally implemented via IP address blocking. Domain name system DNS filtering and redirection: Blocked domain names are not resolved, or an incorrect IP address is returned via DNS hijacking or other means.

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A typical circumvention method is to find an alternative DNS resolver that resolves domain names correctly, but domain name servers are subject to blockage as well, especially IP address blocking. Another workaround is to bypass DNS if the IP address is obtainable from other sources and is not itself blocked.

This affects the HTTP protocol. Terminate TCP packet transmissions when a certain number of controversial keywords are detected. If a previous TCP connection is blocked by the filter, future connection attempts from both sides can also be blocked for some variable amount of time.

Depending on the location of the block, other users or websites may also be blocked, if the communication is routed through the blocking location.

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A circumvention method is to ignore the reset packet sent by the firewall. A technically simpler method of Internet censorship is to completely cut off all routers, either by software or by hardware turning off machines, pulling out cables. A circumvention method could be to use a satellite ISP to access Internet.

Major portals, including search enginesmay exclude web sites that they would ordinarily include. This renders a site invisible to people who do not know where to find it. When a major portal does this, it has a similar effect as censorship. Sometimes this exclusion is done to satisfy a legal or other requirement, other times it is purely at the discretion of the portal.

Denial-of-service attacks and attacks that deface opposition websites can produce the same result as other blocking techniques, preventing or limiting access to certain websites or other online services, although only for a limited period of time.

This technique might be used during the lead up to an election or some other sensitive period. It is more frequently used by non-state actors seeking to disrupt services.From the Internet to the iPad, advancements in technology have given immediate access to information with the push of a button.

But as technology has advanced and the industry has become more profitable, multinational corporations have been quick to bend to the will of corrupt governments and in some cases are the perpetrators of human rights abuses themselves.

Internet censorship circumvention is the processes used by technologically savvy Internet users to bypass the technical aspects of Internet filtering and gain access to the otherwise censored material. Censoring the Internet When most people think about the internet, they think of it as a super highway system that has the capability to transfer information.

The internet grew up to become an expanding source for amusement and intelligence; in a way that we have never seen before. - In Support of Internet Censorship Censoring the Internet would keep children and adults from obtaining harmful materials.

Online there are all kinds of information on horrible things such as pornography, alcohol, drugs, guns, bombs, credit card fraud, etc. Censorship is needed. Jun 22,  · Internet Censorship There is a growing debate about censoring the internet. Some people think that the internet is protected under the first ammendment and cannot be censored.

Others think that some of the material that is on the net needs to be filtered and regulated. Internet censorship in the United States is the suppression of information published or viewed on state, and local governments from directly censoring the Internet.

The primary exception has to do with obscenity, including child pornography Constitutional lawyers say that this is not a first amendment issue because Amazon, as a private.

Internet Censorship - law & policy around the world