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Unpublished Paper
Guiding the Censor’s Scissors: A Framework to Assess Internet Filtering
ExpressO (2008)
  • Derek E Bambauer, Brooklyn Law School

While China’s Internet censorship receives considerable attention, censorship in the United States and other democratic countries is largely ignored. The Internet is increasingly fragmented by states’ different value judgments about what content is unacceptable. States differ not in their intent to censor material – from political dissent in Iran to copyrighted songs in America – but in the content they target, how precisely they block it, and how involved their citizens are in these choices. Previous scholars have analyzed Internet censorship from various values-based perspectives, and have sporadically addressed key principles such as openness, transparency, narrowness, and accountability in evaluating this practice. This Article is the first to unite these principles into a coherent methodology that, by focusing on process, is applicable to a range of normative frameworks. Drawing upon scholarship in deliberative democracy, health policy, labor standards, and cyberlaw, the Article employs this new approach to clarify highly contentious policy debates about sales of censorship technology by Western companies, public law regulation of these transactions, and third-party analysis of states’ Internet censorship.

  • filtering,
  • censorship,
  • China,
  • Internet,
  • computers,
  • Iran,
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • on-line,
  • OpenNet Initiative,
  • Berkman Center
Publication Date
August 19, 2008
Citation Information
Derek E Bambauer. "Guiding the Censor’s Scissors: A Framework to Assess Internet Filtering" ExpressO (2008)
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