At the Ref Desk (7/11/20): After 6 hrs of chat-reference, I got out of the house and hiked north on Broadway all the way from Diversey to Howard. Nice evening. (Took the bus home.) [more...]

Censorship 2.0

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 8/30/07 (5:39pm)

ALA just sent out an email about "Banned Books Week" which this year will be running 9/29-10/6.

This got me thinking of access to the Internet and other bandwidth issues, and how the absence of access/bandwidth might relate to more "traditional" forms of censorship.

With books, you can simply do away with them or alter them to fit your world view. That's censorship old-style.

In a networked world, it's all about access and bandwidth. This opens up a whole new set of vulnerabilities.

If a site is blocked, it becomes like the proverbial tree in a forest. You don't have to chop it down -- just keep people from seeing it.

This problem only increases as we begin to depend on the network for all our information, entertainment and communication needs.

Eventually if the pipes aren't working, it's we who'll become like the trees in the forest, isolated and cut off from the outside world.

For this reason, we need to be increasingly vigilant over the quality of that connection and treat any threat to it whether governmental or corporate as a censorship issue of the highest priority.