Archive for September, 2010
As a part of their effort to provide greater transparency about the use and blocking of their services, Google provides some interesting information which is available in “real time” online. Their Transparency Report: Traffic shows the relative traffic to their various services by country.
Just for example, if you look at traffic to YouTube from Iran, you’ll see this chart… showing high traffic until June, 2009, when YouTube was blocked in Iran. The scale runs from 0 to 100 and is “normalized” rather than showing absolute bandwidth that’s being used in each country. So it quite nicely illustrates various cases of heavy-handed content blocking.
To see how censorship effectively blocks YouTube in other countries, try looking at Bangladesh, China, Libya, and maybe some others you can discover in the data.
They’re experimenting with putting up a page that shows the number of requests they’ve received, and (partially) the action they took, for the most recent six months.
You can view their map and click the pushpins to see country-specific data. For China, it says
Chinese officials consider censorship demands to be state secrets, so we cannot disclose that information at this time.
Isn’t it interesting that rather than saying “removal requests” Google used the word “censorship” in this case?
To read more about legitimate (legal) requests and requests that do not have the force of law behind them and may simply be trying to intimidate a web site owner, visit the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse.
The Open Net Initiative seeks to identify and document Internet filtering and surveillance.
Took me many years, but I have finally learned to articulate my First Commandment.
Don’t participate in something (anything) unless you can make a real contribution.
All through my school years I was focused on soaking up knowledge and, of course, on using that knowledge to get things done. But I also spent a lot of time going to events where I was listening rather than really interacting and learning. Soon after that, as a young faculty member at Northwestern University, I started a research project and began helping other professors and graduate students learn how to use computers in teaching. Converting “learning” into “action” is what got me that faculty position, and what has worked for me ever since.