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Ethan Zuckerman – Internet Censorship: How Cute Cats Can Help

Thursday, November 13, 2008
4:30 pm


101 Sherrerd Hall
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Reception immediately following in 3rd floor open space

Repressive governments everywhere are trying to censor the web. But in a world where anyone can publish anything, subversive ideas are hard to stamp out. Ethan Zuckerman, a leading online activist, will outline recent censorship battles, and predict what the future may hold.

The rise of the internet as a publishing medium has been paralleled by a rise in censorship of political material by concerned governments. More than forty governments filtered or censored the web in some fashion in the past year, and Web 2.0 technologies, which enable average users to publish, are the subject of much concern to state censors. The creative use of Web 2.0 tools by activists can help create common cause between politically active and na├»ve web users, exposing government censorship. Some governments, notably the Chinese government, are ahead of the curve and are changing strategies for censorship, “baking it in” to new Web 2.0 tools rather than blocking content at ISP or gateway layers. We will explore a wide range of ways activists have used the read/write web to advocate online, evade internet censorship and build bridges between activist and apolitical web users.

Ethan’s home page

CITP studies digital technologies in public life. It is a joint venture of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Woodrow Wilson School.