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The Evolving Landscape of Internet Control: A Summary of Our Recent Research and Recommendations

13 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2011  

Hal Roberts

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Ethan Zuckerman

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

John G. Palfrey Jr.

Harvard Law School

Jillian York

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Robert Faris

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

Over the past two years, we have undertaken several studies at the Berkman Center designed to better understand the control of the Internet in less open societies. During the years we’ve been engaged in this research, we have seen many incidents that have highlighted the role of the Internet as a battleground for political control, including partial or total Internet shutdowns in China, Iran, Egypt, Libya, and Syria; many hundreds of documented DDoS, hacking, and other cyber attacks against political sites; continued growth in the number of countries that filter the Internet; and dozens of well documented cases of on- and offline persecution of online dissidents. The energy dedicated to these battles for control of the Internet on both the government and dissident sides indicated, if nothing else, that both sides think that the Internet is a critical space for political action. In this paper, we offer an overview of our research in the context of these changes in the methods used to control online speech, and some thoughts on the challenges to online speech in the immediate future.

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Hal and Zuckerman, Ethan and Palfrey, John G. and York, Jillian and Faris, Robert, The Evolving Landscape of Internet Control: A Summary of Our Recent Research and Recommendations (August 1, 2011). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2011-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1942856

Hal Roberts

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

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

HOME PAGE: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/hroberts

Ethan Zuckerman (Contact Author)

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

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

John G. Palfrey Jr.

Harvard Law School ( email )

1545 Massachusetts Avenue
Areeda Hall 511
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jillian York

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

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

Robert Faris

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

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

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