Cyber wars: Experts call for a new approach to tackling censorship online
In the new issue of Index on Censorship, 'Brave New Words', leading internet experts Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski call for a new approach to tackling censorship online.
As cyberspace has become the arena for political activism, governments are growing more sophisticated in controlling free expression online - from surveillance to filtering. And it's now becoming harder than ever for human rights activists to outwit the authorities. In their article 'Cyber wars', Deibert and Rohozinski call for a 'paradigm shift' and 'new techniques' to confront the new challenges to free speech.
Deibert and Rohozinski predict that censorship and surveillance will fall increasingly into the hands of private companies and warn that governments are now openly considering using computer network attacks as part of standard military doctrine:
"President Obama's cyber security review may have unwittingly set off a security spiral dilemma with its official acknowledgment that the United States has such capabilities at its disposal - a decision that may come back to haunt the information-dependent country when other actors follow suit."
Targeted espionage is another worrying new development for companies and governments - and Google's response to the attack on its infrastructure in January from China will have significant repercussions for western companies that do business with authoritarian regimes.
The new issue of Index on Censorship, now published by SAGE, 'Brave New Words: is technology the saviour of free speech?' examines how technology has transformed the business of censorship at the same time as revolutionising freedom of expression. Rebecca MacKinnon talks to Google about the fallout from China; Gus Hosein calls on governments to take privacy more seriously; and Wen Yunchao reveals the art of censorship in China.