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The Politics of Internet Control and Delegated Censorship

American Society of International Law, April 2008

Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2008-3

7 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010  

Wendy Seltzer

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Yale Law School Information Society Project; University of Colorado Law School

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, April 2008; Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2008-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1518951

Wendy Seltzer (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-0426 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.silicon-flatirons.org/

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

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yale Law School Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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