Censorship and Content Regulation of the Internet

Authored by: Peng Hwa Ang

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Censorship is defined as the intervention by a third party between the free exchange of a willing sender and a willing receiver of information; typically, censorship is repressive in that both sender and receiver do not want the intervention. Censorship of the Internet began clumsily from when it was made publicly available. Then governments were trying to reconcile the new medium with existing rules on traditional media. Since then, there have been two other overlapping and parallel waves of attempts to censor Internet content. Today’s censorship of the Internet is more nuanced. Governments in general do not accept the argument that the Internet is difficult to censor. Among the methods used are simple denial of access to the Internet, passing punitive laws that would deter others when those who are caught are prosecuted, and using blocking technology. The most acceptable face of such censorship would be for the protection of minors and through filtering of the Internet. Censorship of the Internet will continue to exist because of the cultural differences that exist.

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