The Politics of Internet Control and Delegated Censorship
American Society of International Law
6 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2009
Date Written: April 10, 2008
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
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