Is There Such a Thing as "Good Internet Filtering"?

One of the most provocative themes from yesterday’s ONI conference is captured by Prof. Dr. Urs Gasser in his blog: is there such a thing as best practices for technical Internet filtering? Richard Clayton said emphatically not; others seemed intrigued.

2 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing as "Good Internet Filtering"?

  1. […] Secondly, as a data-based study, the work of the Open Net Initiative leads to a whole host of normative questions, which were certainly at the forefront of my mind over the course of the day. In particular, if we leave aside the revolutionary potential of the Internet in authoritarian states, and try to imagine our ideal liberal democratic society, we still have to ask whether there would be a role for censorship in it (a point raised here and here)? There are compelling arguments to suggest there might be – after all, if we want to enforce a libel law, prevent crimes of incitement or the sexual exploitation of minors. But could we ever trust a government to do it responsibly, or would they inevitably abuse that power? This, of course, is not a new question (Thomas Hobbes had strong views on the dangers of pamphleteers – not surprising given the circumstances of his lifetime), but the Internet reframes in new ways. The example of sixteenth century makes another important lesson very clear as well – censorship, or sometimes the lack thereof, is inevitably the product of political and social circumstances; the two topics are inseparable.         […]

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