Suche innerhalb des Archivs / Search the Archive All words Any words

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[] US proposal targets foreign Net censors,


Bill would circumvent foreign censors

By Lisa M. Bowman
Staff Writer CNET
October 3, 2002, 11:34 AM PT

A new bill designed to fight foreign Web censorship has been introduced in

The legislation, unveiled Wednesday by Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., would
create an Office of Global Internet Freedom charged with fighting Internet
blocking and helping Web users in countries such as China and Syria get
around censorship efforts and avoid punishment. The bill also would
allocate $50 million each year over the next two years to develop and
promote anti-blocking technology.

"Just as past governments have banned pamphlets, jammed radios and
committed their gravest atrocities out of the range of TV cameras, many
governments are attempting to restrict an individual's freedom to receive
and exchange information by blocking the Internet," Cox said in a

The bill, designed to counter authoritarian governments' efforts to block
their citizens from the Internet, would provide technological means to
circumvent censorship tools. The legislation's policy statement
specifically mentions software, including SafeWeb's Triangle Boy,
Peek-a-Booty and DynaWeb, and peer-to-peer network Freenet-China.

The bill also would require the submission of a United Nations resolution
condemning countries that censor the Web and would require an annual
report on nations that abuse Web freedoms.

Access to foreign Internet sites has exposed citizens of countries with
restrictive governments to a wide range of news and material they were
unable to read otherwise. As a result, countries such as China and North
Korea have stepped up their censorship efforts. For example, Chinese
officials recently arrested a writer who posted information about that
country's problems on U.S.-based Web pages, and China's government blocked
access to Google and AltaVista last month.

Although the amount of money allocated to anti-censorship tools is
relatively small, it could spark a proliferation of products designed to
circumvent filters both abroad and in the United States.

As a result, the bill could create an unintended clash between U.S.
efforts to protect children from inappropriate material and attempts to
thwart foreign governments from blocking citizen Web access. For example,
federal law in the United States currently requires schools to filter
content or lose federal funding, but some of the anti-censorship
technology could help children get around the blocking.

But that debate will likely be put off until next year, if it occurs at
all. In the final days of a session, before congressmen return home and
turn their efforts to election season, many congressmen introduce bills
that cover issues important to the lawmakers and to their
constituents--even if they aren't likely to get a hearing. The lawmakers
are essentially previewing issues they plan resurrect next year.

A similar anti-censorship technology bill is expected in the Senate.


 Olaf, ./fx3

Liste verlassen: 
Mail an infowar -
 de-request -!
- infopeace -
 de mit "unsubscribe" im Text.