[governance] Twitter to add to Balkanization of the Web

Roland Perry roland at internetpolicyagency.com
Fri Jan 27 09:00:01 EST 2012

In message 
<CAD=1OvdFz=hx7bnBKw9tvJoVU1byrm9VOChR9PZG2G9axEN7QA at mail.gmail.com>, at 
08:33:45 on Fri, 27 Jan 2012, Paul Lehto <lehto.paul at gmail.com> writes

>>    This relates to one big reason Google (via Vint Cerf) would
>>    oppose a right to ACCESS the "Internet"
>  Isn't there a danger of confusing access to the Internet with access
>  to particular content sites on the Internet?

>Roland, I never understood the Chinese/Indian approach to censoring the
>Internet as creating "access to the Internet" that is the same, just
>without access to "particular content sites". 

If you are saying they have firewalls which deny access to specific 
sites, it's a prohibition on accessing content.

The users still have access to "The Internet" for those sites which are 
not prohibited.

Contrast that with my earlier example which is prisoners in goal (in 
many countries) who are not allowed Internet Access at all, not even to 
highly approved content.

>Given people's normal (adult) expectations, I think the term "internet 
>access" becomes deceptive and misleading when access to entire classes 
>of sites on the internet are restricted or forbidden (for adults who 
>are not at work for an employer, etc)

Perhaps you can expand upon what you mean by "entire classes of site". 
And why employees are allowed to view them, but individual members of 
the public aren't.

>>    -- most people naturally think of the internet as international
>>    and various parties, including but not limited to Google and
>>    Twitter, and putting more and more structural barriers in place
>>    to accessing the free international internet
>  To use their own example, they'd respect the law in Germany,
>  regarding pro-Nazi content, by withholding it from Germany rather
>  than removing it from the whole world.
>And here I thought that Internet censorship in China and things like
>that were a problem, and now an internet policy expert seems to be
>reassuring me that all is well when companies outside Germany, or
>China, voluntarily give extraterritorial effect to German or Chinese

I'm afraid you may be confused about what is proposed. The idea is not 
to prevent the whole world viewing content prohibited in Germany or 
China. Quite the opposite. In only limiting access to persons in those 
countries there's no "extraterritorial" effect at all. The effect is 
only on German and Chinese territory.

>Isn't this a problem when the USA gets extraterritorial effect to
>its laws? 

The USA has an unfortunate reputation for appearing to want to impose 
its values on people where ever they are. The proposals I've been 
commenting on would affect only such content delivered to the USA. 
Everyone else would still receive it.

>The right to speak, or scream, in the wilderness where no one has the
>correlative right to listen or hear can easily be, and regularly would
>be, an empty right. 

There isn't a proposal that "no-one" should hear. Just those people in 
countries where your words are prohibited. Yes, that's local censorship, 
but such things exist and are widely accepted in the real world. For 
example, I understand that in the USA it's not permitted to make threats 
against the President.

>  eBay has being doing this kind of thing for years - selectively
>  restricting prohibited products depending on the country it's
>  offered for sale. And all countries (even the USA) have things they
>  wouldn't want you to tweet about.
>Products are quite distinct from speech.  The advertising of products
>can be regulated without implicating free speech rights in the usual

The speech in the case of eBay is my advertisement for sale. Yes, I'm 
aware that "commercial speech" (by companies) is not so well protected. 
But surely if I have something for sale, it's censorship to prevent my 
advertisement being heard?
Roland Perry

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