Government Censorship

1824 Words 8 Pages
Any online communication is facilitated by multiple layers of intermediaries. Search engines, internet providers, hosting companies and social media platforms keep the machinery running for people to be able to tweet, e-mail or share photos with their friends. These companies are crucial fort the whole internet ecosystem.
They are also a “weak link” through which governments can exert control over the supposedly unruly digital world. It’s easier to pressure digital companies then to go after people concealed by virtual identiies. Raiding the office and seizing servers is certainly closer to the core competency of an average modern state than tracking down millions of people who post some questionable content.
Governments can set up incentives
…show more content…
It’s not unknown (or surprising) that governments that try to censor the internet don’t usually attract the best talent as it relates to tech skills. The level of expertise at Google and at a government agency is not even close: given the right incentives it’s the former which would probably develop a more effective censorship solution. Even better, the governments gets this talent for free: it’s the providers who mostly have to bear the costs of maintaining the system. Censorship through intermediaries almost seems too good an opportunity for the government to pass. They usually don’t: such an approach to internet regulation is “a growing trend …” (REFERENCE: …show more content…
Making intermediaries distinguish between lawful and unlawful content, particularly based on standards as vague as “hate speech”, is undoubtedly going to lead to overly restrictive censorship by proxy. One of the most basic constitutional principles is that everything which was actions are lawful until the proper government authority established otherwise (following the legitimate process). Giving private entities this power, while at the same time threatening them with sanctions for not fighting “hate speech” rigorously enough, goes against this very basic idea.
The same problem is associated with the so-called “right to be forgotten”, which was recently introduced into Russian legislation. Provisions that came into force on January 1, 2016 require search engines to remove links to websites with “illegal”, “inaccurate” or “non-current” information upon request of an offended party. If a company refuses to do so, the petitioner may compel delinking in

Related Documents