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Freedom of Speech (Part 3)

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1 Freedom of Speech (Part 3)
CSE/ISE 312 Freedom of Speech (Part 3) Image from (may be subject to copyright)

2 The Global Net: Censorship and Political Freedom
The Global Impact of Censorship Global nature of the Internet protects against censorship (banned in one country, move to another) Also considered a tool for increased political freedom The Net also makes it easier for one nation to impose restrictive standards on others May impose more restrictive censorship (block everything in an attempt to block one thing) Facebook, cellphones, Skype used by dissidents in Iran, Vietnam, Arab Spring, due to strong encryption used in them. s and faxes played significant roles in collaps of Soviet Union and Tiananmen Square. In 1995, German prosecutors told CompuServ to block access by German subscribers to newsgrps with indecent/offensive materials. CompuServ shut down > 200 to everybody. Later restored to all but 5. In 1999, two antiracism organizations sued Yahoo in a French court, because French can view Nazi memorabilia offered by Yahoo’s US-based auction sites.

3 Tools for Oppression Censorship in Other Nations:
Attempts to limit the flow of information on the Internet similar to earlier attempts to place limits on other communications media Some countries own the Internet backbone within their countries, block at the border specific sites and content Some countries ban all or certain types of access to the Internet Saudi Arabia: Pornography, gambling, religion, Sites about anonymizers, counter-filtering, decryption Iran: Amazon, Wikipedia, NY Times, YouTube Pakistan: Internet telephony Burma: Posting, creating web pages need permissions China: prohibit “producing, retrieving, duplicating, and spreading info. That may hinder public order” Singapore: political/religious groups need register with the government World map:

4 Aiding Foreign Censors
Companies who do business in countries that control Internet access must comply with the local laws What are trade-offs between providing services to the people and complying with the government’s censorship requirements

5 Examples Google initially refused to censor, reversal in 2006 with, withdrew in 2010, now increased operations that are not subject to censorship Google once argued that some access is better than no access

6 Selling Surveillance Tools
Repressive governments intercept citizen’s communications and filter Internet content Companies in Western democracies sell tools to filter, block, hack, collect and analyze, monitor and track The companies say the tools are for criminal investigations and do not violate the local laws

7 Shutting Down Communications in Free Countries
Combating coordinated violence or disruptive activities using mobile devices and Internet to communicate about the location and number of police US and British cities considered laws to authorize the government agencies to shut down, block communications

8 Net Neutrality Regulations or the Market?
Common carriers were prohibited from providing own content, and from discrimination based on content or source, called line-sharing (open-access) requirements It was argued that line-sharing/inflexible prices reduced incentive for investment to improve broadband capacity and innovation FCC eliminated line-sharing requirements ( ) Net Neutrality refers to a variety of proposals for restrictions on how telephone and cable companies interact with their broadband customers and set fees for services To quote "Net Neutrality means no discrimination. Net Neutrality prevents Internet providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination....The free and open Internet brings with it the revolutionary possibility that any Internet site could have the reach of a TV or radio station. The loss of Net Neutrality would end this unparalleled opportunity for freedom of expression."

9 Net Neutrality or De-regulation? (cont.)
Should companies be permitted to exclude or give special treatment to content transmitted based on the content itself or on the company that provides it? Should companies be permitted to provide different levels of speed at different prices? Net Neutrality Argue for equal treatment of all customers De-regulation Flexibility and market incentives will benefit customers

10 Net Neutrality Issues “A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed” – Wikipedia Large content providers (e.g., eBay, Google, Amazon) are at risk to pay higher rates Special treatment based on content or content providers? Levels of Internet service at different price levels

11 Net Neutrality Pros Cons Equal treatment of all customers, content
Not enough competition among network providers to ensure fairness Consistent with other common carrier practices Flexibility and market incentives will benefit customers Companies should be permitted to provide different levels of speed at different prices Companies should be permitted to exclude or give special treatment to certain content

12 FCC Net Neutrality Order (2010)
Transparency. Fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, terms and conditions of their broadband services No blocking. Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video phone services No unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic Court challenges still on-going

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