Friday, February 18, 2011

Ars Technica, Wired: "The Real Internet Censors: Unaccountable ISPs?"

"...a new report suggests that nations are slowly turning ISPs into the off-duty information cops of the world. Eager to placate politicians in order to achieve their own goals (like the selective throttling of data), networks are cooperating with governments looking for easy, informal solutions to difficult problems like copyright infringement, dangerous speech, online vice, and child pornography.

Network and content providers are ostensibly engaging in “self-regulation,” but that’s a deceptive phrase, warns the European Digital Rights group. “It is not regulation — it is policing — and it is not ’self-’ because it is their consumers and not themselves that are being policed,” EDR says."

"...Bottom line: 70 percent of the providers in the experiment took down the content without scrutinizing either it or the complainant.

All this is central to the censorship ecosystem that European Digital Rights fears, and it worries that this sort of extrajudicial censorship could get much larger in the near future. The group wants more debate “to assess the scale of the policing measures being entrusted to Internet intermediaries, the cost for the rule of law and for fundamental rights, as well as the cost for effective investigation and prosecution of serious crimes in the digital environment.”"

Ars Technica, Wired - "The Real Internet Censors: Unaccountable ISPs?"


Image credit: - Internet censorship: Kyrgyzstan blocks independent web-sites

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