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Date of Publication: 2008
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Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (Information Revolution and Global Politics Series) Hardcover – 20 Mar 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (20 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262042452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262042451
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,922,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"No one had a clear sense of the nature of Internet censorship until now. This extraordinary work maps the unfreedom of the Net. Unfortunately, that state is becoming the norm."--Lawrence Lessig

About the Author

Ronald Deibert is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at Munk Centre for Internet Studies, the University of Toronto. John Palfrey is Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Rafal Rohozinski is a Research Fellow of the Cambridge Security Program and Director of the Advanced Network Research Group at Cambridge University. Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University and Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Brandizi on 25 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems to be a quite comprehensive review of those practices that are clearly banned, at least officially in western countries, with an interesting analysis of different points of views in the first part.

The book doesn't consider much issues which are more relevant in western-style (officially) democratic countries, and I would suggest this for another complementary publication.

Examples of such issues are: the fight against the P2P and the attempts to forbid it even for legitimate uses; the pressure of private content producers (such as music majors) over the ISPs for illegal user filtering and censoring; the illegal monitoring of Internet traffic, especially the one done with the excuse of national security and ending up in industrial espionage; the spreading technologies that allow to seriously limit the access to user-provided contents and limit the control the authors themselves have on them, as it happens for youtube videos, which officially are not downloadable and many IPRs are transferred to the service provider.
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By Siraj A. Shaikh on 10 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book reports on an extensive effort undertaken by the OpenNet Initiative (an alliance of academics from universities of Toronto, Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge) to study global internet filtering practices. With contributions from a variety of experts the book covers political, social and technical aspects of such filtering, along with a country-by-country analysis of how the internet is being controlled in various parts of the world.

The first chapter sets the scene on internet filtering with an overview of the data gathered during the study, to serve as evidence of the level and scale of such operation. A majority of countries of the world execute filtering in one form or another for a variety of reasons. The following chapter highlights some of the political motivations behind this and considers the implications on human rights.

Chapter three provides a good overview of the technical means of achieving filtering. Accuracy and circumventability are two of the most important concerns for any mechanism used for this purpose. Along with assessing other technological challenges, this section is an excellent resource for novices and professionals alike who are interested in cutting-edge filtering technology.

Chapter four looks at the legal mechanisms employed by countries to filter and restrict access to the internet. More importantly, it considers the issue from an international view point on how international agreements to support people's freedom are used and abused. Chapter five highlights some challenges faced by corporations that are made to abide by local legal controls in providing unrestricted content to users.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary, Beautifully Put Together, Basic Reference 4 Mar. 2008
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully put together book in terms of brains, content, presentation, and coverage.

An edited work, with ten primary authors, it actually reflects the collaborative efforts of an international network of collaborators, and can safely be considered the seminal basic reference on this topic.

The first 150 pages include an introduction and six chapters, on measuring global internet filtering, the politics and mechanisms of
control, tools and technology for filtering, filtering and the international system, corporate filtering, and ethics. The rest of the book, 285 pages, is taken up by regional overviews and then country-specific summaries of filtering policy.

The motives for filtering are three: politics & power; social norms & morals, and security concerns.

Two types of filtering occur: announced, and disguised. Announced filters show a blocking page, unannounced filters pretend there was an error. Blocking anc be of entire sites, or specific pages identified by keywords.

The eye-opener for me was that filtering is not just on content, but on capability. Skype and Google Earth are two of the primary capabilities that are being denied to the people around the world by repressive ignorant governments who would rather have perpetual poverty than allow the people to leverage every aspect of the Internet including free global communications.

This is a first class intellectual, social, economic, and political contribution to the literature.

I recommend the following ten books along with this one:
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations
The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism
The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
an essential reference for students of cyberlaw and online free speech 5 Feb. 2009
By Adam Thierer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is essential reading for anyone studying the methods governments are using to stifle online speech and expression. The contributors provide a regional and country-by-country overview of the global state of online speech controls and discuss the long-term ramifications of increasing government filtering of online networks.

Even if you don't read the whole thing, this is a must-have title for your bookshelf since there is no other resource out there like this. And it should be required reading in every cyberlaw class in America. Importantly, it also contains a very helpful chapter on the mechanics of Net filtering for those not familiar with the technical issues in play here.

Very highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good overview and reference 24 Nov. 2009
By Courtney Radsch - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well written and straightforward account of exactly how governments, sometimes in collusion with private business, succeed in censoring information. From overt blocking to surreptitious intimidation, the authors investigate the status of online censorship the world over. I'm specifically interested in Egypt and was happy to see the author hit on most of the key points, though I think the sourcing could have been better. Definitely a worthy reference (though perhaps as an e-book with free updates since I'm sure things will change soon, given the surveys were conducted in 2006!).
Review by the Berglund Center for Internet Studies 19 April 2011
By Berglund Center for Internet Studies - Published on
Format: Paperback
As we have frequently observed, the impact of the Internet is highlighted for those of us who use it a great deal, when we are denied access to it.But as it has become more pervasive and the world more dependent upon it so has control of the information and services it carries become more critical to the governments of nation states. The result, the work Access Denied argues, is that the trend is markedly toward more filtering of the Internet at the state level, and the denial of access to content to increasingly more people. Moreover, it seems that the major obstacle to even more marked increases in filtering practices may be the current inability of many governments to afford to do so. Access Denied discusses the technology of filtering as well as the many legal issues involved, both in general terms in summative initial chapters, and country by country in voluminous regional overviews which fill well over half of the book. These include specific studies of forty countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

For a full review see Interface Volume 9 Issue 2.
Used for research, but became hooked. 19 Feb. 2012
By John - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for a research paper, but soon became hooked. This book my be nearly six years old, but it is still relevant to the times we live in now. With certain government bills trying to be passed through congress, such as the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT-IP Act, the book dives deeper into other nations already censoring the internet in multiple ways. If you want to learn more about the censorship of the internet then try this book out. Very knowledgeable, but it also admits where it could have used more research when the authors could not get it. Once again, very nice.
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