We’ve been watching the censorship issues globally, and stunned wasn’t anywhere near descriptive enough for the feeling we got when Twitter announced their new censorship policies. Everyone in the office looked at each other with dumbstruck looks and asked, “Isn’t freedom of expression what it’s all about?”
As soon as they had made the announcement, they realized that they may have made a human rights mistake. Tweets started popping up all over the globe about a boycot of the highly popular service. So Twitter implemented the damage control statements. They said that the censorship would not affect re-tweets, and when a comment was censored, there would be a notice given. And the filter would only apply in the country where the law or request originated from.
Their publicly made statement says that “When you reside in a country, you abide by that countries laws.” And we can understand that…to a point. Here at UsenetReviewz we also believe that “In Cyberspace, the 1st Amendment is a local ordinance.” I guess there does happen to be a conflict of interests, but how far can this kind of thing go? Recently Google was asked by India to assist them in their censorship and blacklisting efforts, Google refused politely, saying that innovation and freedom of speech was more important. We agree with them on that…
For reasons fairly obvious the the average Usenet, or VPN user, we weren’t too terribly worried about the blacklisting…the censoring devices that are most probably going to be implemented are easily skirted, and in many cases just a minor inconvenience. Recent legislative efforts have included skirting methods in the language, but the bills were shot down…for the time being. It’s just a matter of time before countries that advocate censoring and blocking start a full forced attack on Proxy and VPN services.