International Censorship Laws Blog

April 19, 2010

Welcome to our blog on Global Censorship Issues.

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 6:56 pm

Our group has decided to investigate the interactions between nations and media, especially in the form of internet, the most global form of communication.  We will be researching and identifying censorship laws in several countries that affect both the country and the globe.

Countries that trade information through the internet will inevitably come across discrepancies between their national censorship laws, it is of interest in our discussion of Globalization to explore these problems and the ways in which they are solved and their effect on human rights and politics.


April 23, 2010

Facebook vs. Youtube

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 11:57 pm

In our Anthropology of Globalization and Development class this week, we discussed which Internet company was more useful in connecting the world and sharing ideas.

You Tube won with a majority vote in our class. You tube, because it has similar qualities with television, gives viewers the effect of actually engaging with the environment portrayed through the screen. On you tube we have shared music, hilarious videos and worshipped cyber-stars ( the “numa numa” guy? anyone?.) We’ve also seen live footage of violent protests in Iran and hateful beheadings.

However, Facebook seems to connect the individual to the rest of the world and with one another, while You tube seems to have a wider audience, but no personal connection.

What are your thoughts?

Net Neutrality

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 11:41 pm

Net Neutrality is the unwritten principle that web servers, search engines, and major online companies will not tamper, restrict or filter an Internet user’s access to information. This is largely applicable to business on the Internet, where per say a small company’s web site will be allowed visitors although a larger corporate chain is more popular. In our ideal cyberspace, both companies would be equally accessible. It also assures that web companies do not filter e-mails from other companies.

There was no written law in the United States, assuring this net neutrality, until April 6, when a Supreme Court ruling decided against the Federal Communications Commission and in favor of Comcast (the largest internet and cable provider in the United States). The debate goes as follows: Web providers, like Comcast, believe that making the Federal Communications Commission (a governmental body) a protectorate could give government too much control over the web, and encourage censorship. They also believe that this open content slows the web. The FCC, however, wanted to oversee net neutrality and make sure it is being enforced, as well as protect the concept from big businesses and corporations, who could potentially exclude content and exploit the web. The FCC argues that web providers, by NOT providing content are censoring the web. They also believe giving big companies control will monopolize the web, giving bigger companies advantages and keeping smaller competitors behind- thus, hampering web innovation.

Before this ruling, one of the only countries to have a legally binding statement about net neutrality was Japan.

What do you think? Will governments or corporations be the censors on ideas and speech in the future?

Read more:
NY Times article about Supreme Court Ruling

Pros and Cons

April 22, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 2:58 pm

Google’s Involvement in China

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 2:38 am


April 21, 2010

Google.CN sat on a wall, Google.CN had a great Fall?

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 8:28 pm

Google is caught between a rock and a hard place- or rather a rock and a firewall.  Since its 2006 creation and compliance with Chinese censorship laws  over, the American company has faced much controversy.

In January, in our most recent episode of the Google/China saga, Google announced on its blog , the decision to pull out of China due to a cyber attack on its infrastructure.  A decision, that if followed through by action, would set precedent for American and Chinese business relations as well as an example for multinational corporations to value morals over money.

The cyber attack was detected by Google infrastructure, and was launched on their Gmail E-mail system.  Google’s evidence shows that the accounts hacked into, were largely those of Chinese Human Right activists.

Google chief legal officer David Drummond announced on the Google blog, the company’s potential withdrawal of operations from China, are in response to the breach of security as well as the bigger picture of freedom of speech.

Google users in China were redirected to, Google’s server for Hong Kong, which under supranational laws is void from China’s strict censorship.   However, the Chinese government was quick to respond with their “great firewall, “ essentially, imposing the same censorship laws with an internal blockade system, rather than having the help of self-censorship.  All Chinese media were told not to report anything about the incident.

What does this mean for the future and the image of Google?  Many groups applaud Google for taking a stance against the Chinese government and social injustice.

Other groups (like Google investors) curse Google for their decision to leave a growing market, which is monopolized (and preferred by most Chinese) by internal Chinese search engine, Baidu.

And Chinese netizens, the group that is affected the most by this decision, either go about their daily lives with out access to information to make up their own minds about the incident, or now know they must work harder to get around walls- or tear them down.

WTO’s involvement

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 8:07 pm

It is a risky path that some companies have taken when challenging their government’s censorship laws.  In the recent debacle between Google and the PRC, Google has weighed the option of taking their case to the WTO.  It is obvious that by restricting information, global trade and the global economy is harmed.  However, Google’s plan to approach the WTO may also harm the global economy.  The WTO is set up to protect values in the market and global economic progress.  The following site:, states that if the WTO participates in this conflict it could be disbanded.  If they get involved and undermine China’s censorship laws, their acts will undermine the sovereignty of a major player in the new global economy and society.  This may have repercussions that could cause other nations to lose respect for the WTO and go back to the old system of bilateral agreements and reverse the process of globalization more significantly than the censorship laws.

personally… (m)

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 6:16 pm

Well, over the course of this project I have explored a lot of information about censorship in governments and media.  In recent years in America, it has come to the attention of the public that information is being kept form us by the government.  They have justified this by creating laws and making statements that say that this is for our better interest or that it is to protect us from the danger of this information.  It is my opinion that this government is by the people for the people and censorship laws negate the basis of our government.  Our country was built on freedom and by making these decisions for us, our government is reducing our freedom.  The question that has been posed in response to this mode of thought is this: “Does sacrificing small degrees of our freedom really hurt us?” and “Do we really want to know the information that the government is concealing?”  My answer is yes.  It is vital that in a true free society, that we have access to all information concerning our government’s decisions.  If they are hiding information it is probably because it is something that we, the People of the United States of America, would protest and the government, those in power, do not want this to happen.  That’s just plain wrong.

In today’s global economy that is quickly becoming more and more a global web of society, free flow of information is a problem.  Censorship laws create an impasse in the growth of globalization and development.  Some people say that without censorship there would be anarchy among the common people.  Personally, I believe this is a good thing.  If our governments are doing things to impede our freedom, our human rights, and our economic and social progress, we have the right to respond.  Now, I realize that not all governments are democratic, even our own American government has strayed from true democratic processes.  That is to say that our government is controlled by corporations and those people who already have power and money rather than by the masses of people inhabiting this country.  Democracy needs to be restored.

It has also been brought to my attention that censorship laws protect us from demeaning sites and images such as child porn and lewd acts and language.  I agree that this is a good thing.  However, the government has gone over and beyond the necessary restrictions of censorship.  Protection of societal morals is a fine thing to support in censoring the internet.  However, government information, economic information, historical information should be able to be accessed as a prt of human rights of freedom of information and expression.

Censorship Oddities

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 5:49 pm

1. The media makes weird censorship decisions… show a real person getting shot and screaming, but bleep the swears:

2.  Spoof edition of school newspaper was deemed inappropriate by school officials and students were punished.

3. FEMA censors 9/11 coloring book.

4.  New Zealand censors TV show Freak and Geeks, The L Word, and movies The Cult, and Following.

5.  TV version of the Matrix censors “Jesus Christ.”

6.  No “A**hole” rule.

7. Australia has no “Adults only” or “R” rating for video games, rather they just ban any games they deem too extreme.

8. MTV censors file-sharing websites in Weird Al song.

9.  Anime censored for portrayal of naughty underagers.

10.  Australia bans small breasted women in media.

Censoring China…

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 4:58 pm

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is one of the strictest governments about censorship in the world.  They have at least sixty different laws and regulations concerning the censoring of public information.  China is stepping up in the global economy and the need for freer information is a vital key to their continued success in the market.  However, the major concern of the PRC’s in relation to censored material is the maintenance of their power structure.  Whereas American ideals of power are based in freedom of choice, China’s government operates on a a basis of control.  Cisco Systems has stated that, “[I]f the government of China wants to monitor the Internet, that’s their business. We are basically politically neutral.” Microsoft said it “focused on delivering the best technology to people throughout the world”, but that it “cannot control the way it may ultimately be used” (Amnesty International).   Amnesty International first publish information about the violations of freedom of expression and information in 2002.  The article State Control of Internet in China can be found at this address:

sources:’s_Republic_of_China  &

April 19, 2010

Organizations Dedicated to Free Speech

Filed under: Uncategorized — censorship208 @ 9:24 pm

There are many global organizations whose main goal is to provide a backdoor for nations who have strict internet censorship laws.  An important group in this field is, a division of Amnesty International. They encourage independent blogs and websites to host censored material; the idea being that if enough small websites host this information, a government (such as North Korea of China) will not be able to shut its people off fast enough to keep them from getting access to it. This work is important, because it puts the means for change and rebellion in the hands of the people, and any cause with grassroots backing has a greater opportunity to do good, and removes some corruption that would be caused by a corporation or government’s control.

For more information, please see:

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at