Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

What if Chinese internet users were banned from US access?

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 29, 2006

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

Freedom_Error.gifThe Chinese government's attempts to censor internet access makes it vulnerable to a reverse censorship--web sites could cut themselves off from Chinese internet users as a form of protest.

This could be a new form of protest and could be applied to any country. Individuals, organizations, educational institutes, and government agencies could easily ban the users of any country from accessing their web sites.

Such actions could emerge as a form of grass-roots protest against governments that practice censorship or carry on with what are deemed to be inhumane actions.

And such actions could also become part of a government's foreign policy in the same way the US government sought a global boycott of Iraqi oil.

I've explored this theme in my recent ZDNet blog:

What would be the economic cost to a country that is unable to access all of the internet all of the time?

Would the economic cost be large enough to create pressure on governments to moderate inhumane or undemocratic behaviors?

I think it could–that's if we are right about the importance of the internet and the free access to information.

But would it be ethical? Would reverse censorship be just as bad as censorship in any form?

Here is the rest of it...

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