• Do web filters hinder free speech?

    Apr 15 2010, 12:03

    Al Jazeera has posted a thoughtful opinion piece on Internet filtering by Robert Faris and Jillian York.  Robert Faris is the Research Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.  Jillian York also works at the Berkman Center and is involved with Global Voices Online.

    The piece is particularly concerned about what precedent the introduction of mandatory ISP-level Internet filtering in Australia may have around the world:

    Many who celebrate the Internet as a bastion of free speech look to the recent developments in Australia, France and the UK with great trepidation.

    It is worth mentioning that never before has such an aggressive national-level filtering scheme survived both the political debate and judicial review in a western nation -

    While Australia may be the canary in a coal mine, the filtering plans of some Western nations offers the practise of filtering a new-found legitimacy and provides political cover for censors around the world, including those in Beijing and Tehran.

    Read the whole piece here.