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Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (Information Revolution and Global Politics Series) [Paperback]

Ronald Deibert
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Mar 2008 Information Revolution and Global Politics Series
Many countries around the world block or filter Internet content, denying access to information that they deem too sensitive for ordinary citizens--most often about politics, but sometimes relating to sexuality, culture, or religion. Access Denied documents and analyzes Internet filtering practices in more than three dozen countries, offering the first rigorously conducted study of an accelerating trend. Internet filtering takes place in more than three dozen states worldwide, including many countries in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Related Internet content-control mechanisms are also in place in Canada, the United States and a cluster of countries in Europe. Drawing on a just-completed survey of global Internet filtering undertaken by the OpenNet Initiative (a collaboration of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, and the University of Cambridge) and relying on work by regional experts and an extensive network of researchers, Access Denied examines the political, legal, social, and cultural contexts of Internet filtering in these states from a variety of perspectives. Chapters discuss the mechanisms and politics of Internet filtering, the strengths and limitations of the technology that powers it, the relevance of international law, ethical considerations for corporations that supply states with the tools for blocking and filtering, and the implications of Internet filtering for activist communities that increasingly rely on Internet technologies for communicating their missions. Reports on Internet content regulation in forty different countries follow, with each two-page country profile outlining the types of content blocked by category and documenting key findings. ContributorsRoss Anderson, Malcolm Birdling, Ronald Deibert, Robert Faris, Vesselina Haralampieva [as per Rob Faris], Steven Murdoch, Helmi Noman, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, Mary Rundle, Nart Villeneuve, Stephanie Wang, Jonathan Zittrain

Frequently Bought Together

Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (Information Revolution and Global Politics Series) + Access Controlled (Information Revolution and Global Politics Series) + Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace (Information Revolution and Global Politics) (Information Revolution and Global Politics Series)
Price For All Three: 49.65

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (11 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262541963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262541961
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"In Access Denied an unlikely avant-garde of scholars, lawyers, hacktivists, and computer programmers come together to combat efforts by repressive regimes, corporate firms, and intelligence agencies to surveil, filter, and block the Internet. Through critical analysis, regional surveys, and the use of innovative software, the authors reveal the penumbra of a networked global civil society emerging from the Dark Side's efforts to eclipse the Internet. Everyone who supports open thought and the free flow of information should read Access Denied."--James Der Derian, Director, Global Security Program, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University "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 -- Lawrence Lessig, Stanford University "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 J. Deibert is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Rafal Rohozinski is a Principal with the SecDev Group, a global strategy and research analytics firm, and a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Jonathan Zittrain is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he cofounded the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and Professor of Computer Science at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is the author of The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting for what concerns its focus 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended 10 Jun 2009
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) 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview and reference 24 Nov 2009
By Courtney Radsch - Published on
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!).
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by the Berglund Center for Internet Studies 19 April 2011
By Berglund Center for Internet Studies - Published on
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.
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