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Sunday 1 April 2007

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Hari Kunzru writes about the harsh realities of internet censorship in an essay for PEN, published in the Guardian.

He starts by placing us in the [Libertarian] context in which much of the superstructure of the Web has been perceived.

"The net treats censorship as damage and routes around it." John Gilmore.
Then brings us back to the material reality.
It's used by people sitting in real offices with real doors that can be broken down by all-too-real police.
Kunzru documents how information access is controlled by large companies and how this plays out.

Even in markets with no overt state censorship, the threat of legal action may be enough to take controversial information offline, a tactic frequently employed by corporations against critics or whistle-blowers.

We appear to be moving towards a world with a privatised knowledge infrastructure.

Anyone watching the growth of Censorware would have to agree.

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