Difference between revisions of "Online Liberty and Freedom of Expression"

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==Overview: The Four Phases of Internet Regulation==
 
  
"Over the past few decades, the world wide web has gone from an 'open net,' characterized primarily by the freedoms it afforded, to a hotly contested environment, characterized by the political battles that rage upon it. What was once known as 'cyberspace' is now an environment in which debates fly, activism flourishes and fails, and political and military contests play out between states." (John Palfrey, "Four Phases of Internet Regulation")
+
==Overview==
 +
Led by John Palfrey, this session will expand on some of the core themes introduced in the
 +
preceding sessions by focusing on online liberty and freedom of expression and providing an
 +
overview of the different phases of content regulation on the Internet. The session will engage
 +
the audience with questions regarding the ways in which different political contexts shape
 +
different methods of and motivations for government control, and how different approaches in
 +
different countries inform each other. Respondents from the audience will be invited to comment
 +
on key issues, including different forms of government controls and online speech regulation:
 +
China (a mix of “traditional” technical filtering with legal and informal regulatory mechanisms);
 +
the Arab Spring (just-in-time filtering combined with the arrest and intimidation of bloggers
 +
and digital activists); Russia (mostly non-technical, second and third generation controls rather
 +
than technical filtering); and US/Western Europe (mostly focused on child pornography and
 +
the illegal spread of copyrighted content); the role of intermediaries in response to government
 +
requests for user information, content removal or account deactivation; and the implications of
 +
the current phase of control for free expression and privacy worldwide.
  
Since its inception, the Internet has gone through four distinct periods of regulation, each of which we will cover in more depth during our live meeting.
+
==Required Readings==
 
 
===Phase 1: The Open Internet: 1960s-2000===
 
 
 
In the beginning of the internet, few people thought that it was possible to regulate the internet.  "Cyberspace" was considered to be a space apart from the real world; one that was to a large extent exempt from its laws. 
 
 
 
Some aspects of the "Open Internet" still characterize the net to this day.  It is still seen as a space of free expression, or as a tool for transparency for governments; it serves as a force for democratization and collective action; and, in countries like Egypt where the media is heavily controlled, the internet remains a forum for open discussion.
 
 
 
However, these initial arguments that cyberspace existed in a world apart and would continue to be distinct from the real world were flawed.
 
 
 
===Phase 2: Access Denied: 2000 to 2005===
 
 
 
In the new millennium, governments began to believe that some internet activity needed to be blocked.  During this phase, geopolitical lines became established on the internet, and filtering began to occur at the national level, with countries employing both technological and 'soft controls' to censor.
 
 
 
Some filtration was more positively censorial, as in the case of democratic countries that blocked child pornography.  While technically skilled citizens could dodge these filters, the majority of citizens were unable, thus leading to relatively effective filtering.
 
 
 
===Phase 3: Access Controlled: 2005 to 2010===
 
 
 
In the Access Controlled phase, the first generation filters and blocks became supplemented by more flexible controls at diverse points.  These new technologies were more nuanced and adaptive than the original blocks, and they enabled governments to selectively block parts of cyberspace at convenient, politically charged moments.
 
 
 
The Access Controlled phase of Internet filtration acknowledges a world of interconnected online and offline lives, breaking down the original myth of separation.
 
 
 
===Phase 4: Access Contested: 2010 and Beyond===
 
 
 
As cyberspace is perceived less as a space apart and more as an intrinsic part of our lives, citizens become more resistant to the limitations exacted by private and governmental filtration and censorship.
 
 
 
Groups like the Global Network Initiative and politically active citizens like protestors in Pakistan will continue to be active in fighting back against internet controls and defining the governance of cyberspace.
 
 
 
==Recommended Readings==
 
  
 
===Filtering===
 
===Filtering===
 
*John Palfrey, [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1658191 "Four Phases of Internet Regulation"] ''Social Research'', Vol. 77, No. 3, Fall 2010.
 
*John Palfrey, [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1658191 "Four Phases of Internet Regulation"] ''Social Research'', Vol. 77, No. 3, Fall 2010.
 +
**[[Summary of Four Phases]]
 
*Jonathan Zittrain & John Palfrey, [[Media:Deibert_03_Ch02_029-056.pdf| "Internet Filtering: The Politics and Mechanisms of Control,"]] ''Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering'', (Cambridge: MIT Press) 2008.
 
*Jonathan Zittrain & John Palfrey, [[Media:Deibert_03_Ch02_029-056.pdf| "Internet Filtering: The Politics and Mechanisms of Control,"]] ''Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering'', (Cambridge: MIT Press) 2008.
  
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* Masashi Crete-Nishihata and Jillian York, [http://opennet.net/blog/2011/01/egypt%E2%80%99s-internet-blackout-extreme-example-just-time-blocking “Egypt’s Internet Blackout: Extreme Example of Just-in-Time Blocking,”] ONI Blog, January 28, 2011.
 
* Masashi Crete-Nishihata and Jillian York, [http://opennet.net/blog/2011/01/egypt%E2%80%99s-internet-blackout-extreme-example-just-time-blocking “Egypt’s Internet Blackout: Extreme Example of Just-in-Time Blocking,”] ONI Blog, January 28, 2011.
  
==Background Readings==
+
==Recommended Readings==
  
 
===Filtering===
 
===Filtering===

Revision as of 18:23, 27 July 2011

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Overview

Led by John Palfrey, this session will expand on some of the core themes introduced in the preceding sessions by focusing on online liberty and freedom of expression and providing an overview of the different phases of content regulation on the Internet. The session will engage the audience with questions regarding the ways in which different political contexts shape different methods of and motivations for government control, and how different approaches in different countries inform each other. Respondents from the audience will be invited to comment on key issues, including different forms of government controls and online speech regulation: China (a mix of “traditional” technical filtering with legal and informal regulatory mechanisms); the Arab Spring (just-in-time filtering combined with the arrest and intimidation of bloggers and digital activists); Russia (mostly non-technical, second and third generation controls rather than technical filtering); and US/Western Europe (mostly focused on child pornography and the illegal spread of copyrighted content); the role of intermediaries in response to government requests for user information, content removal or account deactivation; and the implications of the current phase of control for free expression and privacy worldwide.

Required Readings

Filtering

Arab Spring

Recommended Readings

Filtering

Second- and Third-Generation Controls

Arab Spring

Russia Project

Navigation