Free Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link
Posted in: Censorship at 27/11/2011 16:21
From Mubarak knocking a country offline by pressuring local ISPs to PayPal caving to political pressure to cut off funding to WikiLeaks, this year has brought us sobering examples of how online speech can be endangered. And it's not only political speech that is threatened - in the United States, legislation is working its way through Congress that would give the government and private actors broad new online censorship tools in the name of improving intellectual property rights enforcement.
As Internet users, we rely on a chain of intermediaries - such as social networks, search engines, and ISPs - to help ensure that creative expression and information reach a broader audience. Unfortunately, "weak links" in this chain can operate as choke points to accomplish widespread censorship.