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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2009
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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on 10 June 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.

Chapter six has to be the most interesting as it delves into how the internet provides an opportunity for the civil (and the not so civil) society for 'organisation, communication, mobilisation and action'. It brings to light the civil and criminal 'hacktivisim' that has emerged over the years with particular emphasis on the role of blogs.

The remainder of this book presents commentary and analysis of the various countries surveyed. It is a useful resource on the nature of internet surveillance and filtering the world over, and has to be the most extensive examination of this global phenomenon.

This book is a must read for all those who realise the influence that the internet has over our societies, and how our freedom and liberty is being controlled, restricted and grossly violated. Unleashing a whole new exciting topic, I highly recommend this book.
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