See also: Government | Communication | Free Speech | Knowledge | Information
This topic is Dangerous.
The willful and intentional manipulation of a stream of information, be it by blocking, moderation or other supressive control of communications, including incarceration. Censorship is most recognizable in the case of “classified” materials. Censorship seeks to keep certain knowledge unknown or suppressed.
The application of censorship may be used to suppress offensive material, eg. book, game, movie and other media classification and to protect minors from sexually explicit or other sensitive material.
A government concerned about information being a threat to sovereignty or political power is frequently seen to interfere with the flow of such information. Censorship is often described as being used for coercive purposes to withhold access to, or any even perception of, the truth or accurate information. The aim is to maintain dissociative strategies between parties and stifle political opposition and discontent. In some cases, people are detained in an effort to conceal information. Such persecution by government authorities, reveals a form of corruption of the democratic process.
Censorship of internet communications is a controversial and complex topic considering the jurisdiction issue. Internet censorship with legislation such as the the state’s CDA is largely thought to be unworkable.
Exceptions to a free speech society that are most commonly referred to by the “yelling fire in a movie theatre” example provided by the US Supreme Court in the 1980s to describe rational limits of the first amendment. In a free speech society, restricted speech is that which represents a clear and present danger.
Restricted speech issues of censorship include symbolic desecration in flag burning and national security and the media censorship during war.
Current Censorship Issues
- Clear Channel’s attempted censorship of John Lennon’s Imagine and other songs
- The Supreme Court decision to force Libraries to install Internet filters or lose federal funding are censorship issues.
- FCC regulations against foul language on broadcast television and radio stations.
- Mordechai Vanunu – Imprisonment for revealing knowledge of Israeli nuclear arsenal. He was held in the longest known stretch of solitary confinement to be endured by anyone.
- CDA back in the supreme court
- Libertus.net Australia, censorship and free speech
- Censorship Resources – Books and other media.
- Censorship of web access in schools, homes, and workplaces.
The list above is small sample. The Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Free Speech by the EFF, carries the latest censorship headlines.
Some regimes try to prevent dissent by banning private media and broadcast companies. Countries that routinely moderate and filter news, books, and other information through mediums such as mass media, Internet, include;
- North Korea
- Iran – The theocratic Iran have a system of committees made up of religious fanatics which approve or disapprove the publishing of material.
- Saudi Arabia
- Cuba – gag laws exist in Cuba to prevent criticism.
- China – The communist regime is still so bad that former Chinese residents who return are routinely threatened to keep quiet about rules and threats that Chinese people should abide by when living overseas. Often it is hard to find people that visit China, for example, on business (people, scholars, journalists, etc) that are willling to discuss politically sensitive issues, for fear of jeoparidising future visits. Many bad laws and traditions are based on the perception of self-censorship and fear from the state.
- Germany – Wikipedia Germany’s administrators removes links or website of one contemporary German Philosoph, (1950-2004+) [] only because on my fathers website there has been a biography from Usama Bin Laden (from 1999). [] After a longer investigation about the admin, my father found out that the ADMIN is Jewish and promotes a Jewish websites, Zionism (hidden) as ADMIN on Wikipedia Germany. The fear in Germany writing whatever is the relation/motivation against Israel is deep placed in the German society. This is certainly the main reason why even on Indymedia Germany you can not find any, even normal critics or opinions about Israel politics.
- iA Discussion: Censorship
TakeDown.NET -> “Censorship”