Tuesday, May 16, 2006

censorware and fascism connection

Although we are opposed in theory to fascist dictatorships we treat our children AND TEACHERS at school in a similar way to which a fascist dictatorship treats its citizens, eg China

Great article on censorware by seth Finkelstein at http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-05-15-n66.html

3. Censorware often blacklists language translation sites, as a LOOPHOLE

Too much of the discussion about censorware takes place in terms of the misnomer “filtering”. That conjures up an image of removing evil, yucky, even toxic material, while leaving a purified result. The constant chant of “porn, pornography, harmful to minors, obscenity, child porn, pr0n, porno, PORN ...” often keeps issues framed in these terms. People sometimes gets the idea that censorware is intended to remove evil sites. No. It is designed to control what people are permitted to read. That is a very different problem. It implies that even if there was a perfect blacklist for sex or other prohibited material, censorware would still need to ban anonymity, privacy, language translation sites and more. Because all such sites, no matter how functional and useful they may be, have the capability to allow a reader to view any other site. They are a LOOPHOLE.
7. If censorware works for parents to control children in the US, it’ll work for governments to control citizens in e.g. China. Contrariwise, if censorware can’t work for governments to control citizens in e.g. China, it can’t work for parents to control children in the US.

Many discussions of censorware tend to revolve around statements of values, usually concerning which authorities have legitimate rights of control, in what contexts. Typically the values are that parents have a right to prohibit their children from reading certain materials, employers can control what employees view, but governments should not censor citizen’s ability to obtain information. However, the technical implications here are essentially identical, no matter what the social relationships.

So there’s a deep problem in efforts to bypass Internet censorship. If citizens can escape from government control, then children can escape from parent’s control. But if restricting information works on minors in the US, it’ll work on citizens under dictatorial governments. Either way, the results are problematic.


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