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Trends in transition from classical censorship to Intenet censorship: selected country overviews

Dr Constance Bitso, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria, South Africa; Prof Ina Fourie, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria, South Africa; Prof Theo Bothma, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria

“Censorship is no longer limited to printed media and videos. Its impact is felt much more strongly with regard to Internet related resources of information and communication such as access to websites, email and social networking tools which is further enhanced by ubiquitous access through mobile phones and tablets. Some countries are marked by severe restrictions and enforcement, a variety of initiatives in enforcing censorship (pervasive as well as implied), as well as initiatives to counter censorship. The article reflects on trends in Internet censorship in selected countries, namely Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Lybia, Myanmar, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (UK). These trends are discussed under two broad categories of negative and positive trends. Negative trends include: trends in issues of Internet related privacy; ubiquitous society and control; trends in Internet related media being censored; trends in filtering and blocking Internet content and blocking software; trends in technologies to monitor and identify citizens using the Internet to express their opinion and applying “freedom of speech”; criminalization of legitimate expression on the Internet; trends in acts, regulations and legislation regarding the use of the Internet and trends in government models regarding Internet censorship; trends in new forms of Internet censorship; trends in support of Internet censorship; trends in enforcing regulations and Internet censorship; trends in Internet related communication surveillance. Positive trends include: trends in reactions to Internet censorship; attempts and means to side-step Internet censorship; trends in cyber actions against Internet censorship; trends in innovative ways of showing opposition to Internet censorship. Detailed reports for each country are included as appendixes. A summary of how the trends manifest in the countries in which data were mined, as well as the trends per se is included in the article.”

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