Review: Access Denied–The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering

5 Star, Censorship & Denial of Access, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology
Access Denied
Amazon Page

Extraordinary, Beautifully Put Together, Basic Reference, March 4, 2008

Ronald J. Deibert

This is a beautifully put together book in terms of brains, content, presentation, and coverage.

An edited work, with ten primary authors, it actually reflects the collaborative efforts of an international network of collaborators, and can safely be considered the seminal basic reference on this topic.

The first 150 pages include an introduction and six chapters, on measuring global internet filtering, the politics and mechanisms of
control, tools and technology for filtering, filtering and the international system, corporate filtering, and ethics. The rest of the book, 285 pages, is taken up by regional overviews and then country-specific summaries of filtering policy.

The motives for filtering are three: politics & power; social norms & morals, and security concerns.

Two types of filtering occur: announced, and disguised. Announced filters show a blocking page, unannounced filters pretend there was an error. Blocking anc be of entire sites, or specific pages identified by keywords.

The eye-opener for me was that filtering is not just on content, but on capability. Skype and Google Earth are two of the primary capabilities that are being denied to the people around the world by repressive ignorant governments who would rather have perpetual poverty than allow the people to leverage every aspect of the Internet including free global communications.

This is a first class intellectual, social, economic, and political contribution to the literature.

I recommend the following ten books along with this one:
The leadership of civilization building: Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Wharton School Publishing Paperbacks)
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Web of Inclusion: Architecture for Building Great Organizations
The Ingenuity Gap: Facing the Economic, Environmental, and Other Challenges of an Increasingly Complex and Unpredictable Future
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism
The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Vote on Review