China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the Globe

from NYTs Within its digital borders, China has long censored what its people read and say online. Now, it is increasingly going beyond its own online realms to police what people and companies are saying about it all over the world. For years, China has exerted digital control with a system of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which allows authorities to limit what people see online. To broaden its censorship efforts, Beijing is venturing outside the Great Firewall and paying more attention to what its citizens are saying on non-Chinese apps and services. As part of that shift, […]

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It’s The (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age Of Free Speech

from Wired FOR MOST OF modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. Shutter the news­paper, pressure the broad­cast chief, install an official censor at the publishing house. Or, if push came to shove, hold a loaded gun to the announcer’s head. This actually happened once in Turkey. It was the spring of 1960, and a group of military officers had just seized control of the government and the national media, imposing an information blackout to suppress the coordination of any threats to their coup. But inconveniently for […]

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How Iran Is Building Its Censorship-Friendly Domestic Internet

from BackChannel In the early spring of 2011, Iranian authorities made a series of bombastic public statements about government plans to strengthen their control over information. What emerged is the enduring specter of a “halal Internet”?—?a network cleansed of immorality and disconnected from the global Internet. Over the next several months, the political and religious establishment began to aggressively challenge the morality and security of the Internet, calling instead for a network that promoted the strict religious values promoted by the Islamic Republic. The then-Deputy Vice President for Economic Affairs described the vision for a national Internet as “a genuinely halal network, aimed at Muslims […]

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Voltaire on the Perils of Censorship, the Freedom of the Press, and the Rewards of Reading

from Brain Pickings Voltaire (November 21, 1694–May 30, 1778) is one of the most revered and quotable writers in literary history, credited with pioneering “social networking” with his Republic of Letters— the remarkable epistolary mesh of correspondence between him and some of his era’s greatest intellectuals on both sides of the English Channel and beyond. But more than a mere participant in literary culture, Voltaire was also its vocal proponent, unflinching custodian, and tireless crusader for its highest ideals. In a poignant and pointed 1733 letter to a high-ranking government commissioner, found in the volume Voltaire in His Letters: Being a Selection From […]

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