Articles

Why So Hostile: Online Tyranny

In USA on June 10, 2011 by tbrackens

If video killed the radio star, then the government is trying to kill, suppress or undo the Web.

Increasing is the wave of repression, censorship and surveillance by governments in certain countries aimed at the Internet and the freedoms it allows. They are finding covert ways to halt the information revolution. IP blocking, filtering methods and deep-packet inspections are just a few of the tools adopted for censorship and surveillance. It is as if the government is paranoid of the information and interaction amongst people.

China suffocating reign over the Internet is well documented. The government frequently prevents users from accessing certain websites and forces domestic sites to remove controversial material. However, they are not the only oppressive Internet culture in the world.

Syria, Egypt and Libya governments simply turn off the Internet when it sees fit or to stifle opposing viewpoints. Sadly, according to the Freedom on the Net 2011 study only 8 out of 37 countries surveyed have full Internet freedom. What has taken place is this notion of fear, I fear what you will do with it, and therefore I must control it.

Unfortunately, a new more aggressive approach to censorship taken by some countries is to set up their own form on Internet, the so-called “national Internet”.

Iran’s is seeking to follow the path laid out by Cuba, Myanmar and North Korea, all of which have moved to create an intricate web of dual service. In Cuba, for instance, while tourists and government officials can still access the global Internet, citizens are confined to a closed, monitored, limited access network.

Engaging in this type of behavior only breeds anger and resentment. Any attempt to inhibit or control it is futile. People are tech-savvy and will find work around to restrictions

History has taught us that tyranny has never worked and can never work, for tyranny wants only blind obedience.  Nothing good as ever come from keeping a nation blind, deaf and dumb.


In pre-historic times we drew pictures on cave walls to communicate. Now, we use the Web.

Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself.  ~Potter Stewart

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One Response to “Why So Hostile: Online Tyranny”

  1. I really enjoyed the first half of this post. You started with a strong statement (though it wasn’t really clear which government you were referring to). Your post went on to share your main point – which was that there are plenty of countries around the world censoring the Internet and creating their own sorts of “national Internets.” You had good links to research to back up your points as well.

    From that point, your post goes more philosophical and shares some widely general statements about how this makes people feel. If these national Internets breed anger and resentment, we need an example of how. If the most closed approaches never work, then how can China continue to create innovation and worry American executives with the pace of their progress even though they do not have an open Internet.

    In order to complete this post, you needed to share the second part of the argument about why this couldn’t work, and perhaps why it does work sometimes even though it shouldn’t. (4)

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