The Politics of Internet Control and Delegated Censorship

American Society of International Law

6 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2009

See all articles by Wendy Seltzer

Wendy Seltzer

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; W3C / MIT

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 10, 2008

Abstract

Against the myth that the Internet breaks traditional political boundaries, we find that the Internet itself looks different depending on our vantage point. The "politics of the Internet" includes that of Internet control, identifying chokepoints and the power that can be exerted upon and through them. For notwithstanding the distributed nature of the Internet, traffic to any given point passes through numerous bottlenecks where communications can be blocked. Moreover, major search engines operate as de facto points of centralization. Pressure at these points can change the local nature or view of the Internet, so one state's "Internet" does not look the same as another's. A state that wishes to suppress speech can do so, even online.

Keywords: Internet, censorship, regulation, chokepoints

Suggested Citation

Seltzer, Wendy, The Politics of Internet Control and Delegated Censorship (April 10, 2008). American Society of International Law, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1496056

Wendy Seltzer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

W3C / MIT ( email )

105 Broadway NE-36-7212
Cambridge, MA United States 02142
United States

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