December 10, 2003

Fighting Internet Censorship

Glenn Reynold's latest TCS column addresses the threat of government censorship of the Internet. There is something that we can do here to make it perfectly clear how we feel about government censorship of the Internet. We can declare technical end-runs around government censorship political acts and any negative consequences for content neutral actions (putting in a surreptitious router that doesn't go through filtering mechanisms or turning off the filters themselves) to be prima facie cases of political repression and grant a presumptive visa to anybody who is caught doing this on the condition that they keep working on the problem once they are here.

The details, like how to overcome that presumption of visa, what safeguards have to be in place to oversee those overrides, etc. can all be worked out in the next two years when this issue will rise again at another UN conference. But the US and the rest of the free world have an obligation to recognize and encourage these anti-censorship engineers with whatever support that they can. The first and foremost thing that they can do is offer safe haven if they are caught.

Posted by TMLutas at December 10, 2003 09:46 AM