Thursday, May 20, 2010

Russia's Slick Internet Repression Makes China's Look Clumsy By Comparison

Via (Firewall Blog) -

China may be one of the world's most Internet-repressive regimes. But its Great Firewall is a clumsy and ineffective tool compared with the subtle information control techniques developed over the last few years by Russia and many of the former Soviet states.

That's one of the conclusions of Access Controlled, a new book out from the Open Net Initiative, a consortium of academics focused on free speech and government interactions with the Internet. A sequel to Access Denied, the Open Net Initiative's 2008 report on the state of global Internet censorship, one of the book's theses is that government control of the Internet has shifted from directly blocking sites to slicker ways of repressing dissidents online.

Those newer tactics include regulations that subtly induce censorship while seeming to focus on security or crime, timely cyberattacks that mysteriously take down target Web sites at key moments, or drowning dissidents in a sea of online propaganda and astroturf campaigns.

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