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The New CensorshipInside the Global Battle for Media Freedom$
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Joel Simon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160643

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160643.001.0001

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Web Wars

Web Wars

(p.93) Five Web Wars
The New Censorship

Joel Simon

Columbia University Press

This chapter deals with the sustainability of the Internet as the primary instrument through which news and information is distributed globally. Many informed activists, academics, observers, and technologists share contemporary activist Ai Weiwei's perspective of the Internet as a liberating force. In this vision, the peer-to-peer nature of online communication, the constant pattern of technological innovation, and the predominant desire of people everywhere to inform and be informed overcome the resistance from oppressive governments seeking to control online speech. The chapter addresses the question of whether the political environment allowing the Internet to function as a global system of information sharing is sustainable, focusing on the Chinese-led effort to remodel the nature of the Internet, its Internet policy, and use the United Nations to assert its authoritarian conception.

Keywords:   Internet, global news, Ai Weiwei, peer-to-peer, online communication, global information system, Chinese Internet policy

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