According to a report just release by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) on filtering in Asia, Asian governments are taking increasingly sophisticated steps to control access to Web content. From the ONI blog:
New research from the OpenNet Initiative reveals accelerating
restrictions on Internet content as Asian governments shift to next
generation controls. These new techniques go beyond blocking access to
websites and are more informal and fluid, implemented at edges of the
network, and are often backed up by increasingly restrictive and
broadly interpreted laws.
The reports also point to an emerging inclination for states to
actively engage in cyberspace as a way to achieve the same effects of
'Since 2006, many Asian governments have quickly realized the
potential benefits of exploiting opportunities for conducting
propaganda or public relations strategies over the Internet, even while
cracking down on independent and critical voices thriving in these
online spaces– an example of the evolution towards next generation
controls,' said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the
University of Toronto and one of four principal investigators at the
You can view the regional overview of filtering in Asia here and checkout ONI's country profile for China here.
ONI releases this report on the heals of the Chinese government's directive that Green Dam filtering software must be installed in all computers sold in the country. ONI issued an evaluation of the software last week, concluding that
The mandate requiring the installation of a specific product serves no
useful purpose apart from extending the reach of government
authorities. Given the resulting poor quality of the product, the large
negative security and stability effects on the Chinese computing
infrastructure and the intense backlash against the product mandate,
the mandate may result in less government control. CONTINUED...