CDF Conference: Jonathan Zittrain, “Government Regulation and Control of the Internet in China”

Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School
Two ways that filtering is taking place: supply and demand.
Supply Side: sometimes countries censor their own sites (for example, Google will omit sites that have infringed on copyright law)
Demand Side: domain redirection, you search for google and are redirected to Beijing University. The topped filtered sites are Tibet and Taiwan, but democracy, news, governments, courts, etc., are also blocked. But tracking filtering is becoming more difficult.


China is now involved in individual censorship. Searching for Jiang Zemin on google will ban you from google for 20 minutes. In Saudi Arabia, there seems to be much more bark than bite. China is the opposite. It denies much of its censorship, but actually works much harder.

Open Net Initiative (funded by George Soros’ Open Society organization) is releasing a report on Monday about an American server that can be visited by Iranian citizens to circumvent Iranian filters. Unfortunately, it’s a crude system that censors what Iranians can search for.

He said he’s hoping that the NY Times or other media outlets can find a way into China and other filtered societies.

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