The Architecture of Invisible Censorship


or



How  

Digital and

Meatspace

censorship Differ


I wish I were Nani Jansen


Pranesh Prakash


Twitter: @pranesh_prakash / XMPP: pranesh@cis-india.org / Freenode: the-solipsist


Centre for Internet & Society +

Information Society Project, Yale Law School +

Non-Commercial Users' Constituency, ICANN +

Creative Commons India +

+ + + +

SImilar?






"same human rights online and offline"







publishers

+

printing presses








"common carriers"


Different?




"online intermediaries need stronger protection"






"simplistic sovereignty can't extend online"





"too much speech to regulate effectively"


SIMILAR?




"what's lawful offline can't be made unlawful online"







"court orders!"

Different?





"technology makes censorship impossible"







"politicians & bureaucrats don't understand technology"



utopianism / libertarianism / anarchism




"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind."

Categories



State regulation

State-compelled private regulation

State-aided private regulation 

State-independent private regulation

Societal regulation

Self-regulation







these "actor-act" categories trace part of the shift in:

"Traditional" vs. "Digital" Censorship

"Visible" vs. "Invisible" Censorship




importantly




censorship is not just silencing;

censorship is productive





price for censorship

death, jail, conformity

autonomy, dignity





but we fight back

literature, jokes,

resistance, subversion




(examples abound across geographies, political structures, temporalities)

Invisible Censorship





state-{compelled, aided, independent}

unaccountable private regulation

+

self-censorship

Invisible Censorship





we can't fight that which we cannot see




(related idea in surveillance:

Panopticon Paradox: what we don't know can't induce conformity)

State-Compelled Private Regulation




"Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules"


(source: World of Warcraft & Yahoo)






only way to study it is as a participant


Policy Sting




CIS's fake, fraudulent, frivolous, fun complaints



6 of 7 complied + no transparency + over-censorship


State-Aided Private Regulation




copyright as censorship infrastructure


(crony politi-capitalism)

State-Independent Private Regulation





jurisprudential justification

contract + property rights









rhetoric

"innovation", "freedom"

as infrastructure of private control

What's Private?

What's State?



municipal wifi?

facebook?


but: not "plaza pública"!






not all speech regulation is harmful

(casteist / racist / sexist / ableist speech, etc.)





not all private censorship is bad


Haterz hate lolcats

Doges!!! such disgust, so crap

Solutions?




philosophical foundations, societal forces, politics as power, soft paternalism, public accommodation laws, net neutrality, regulation on the basis of network effects, internet as social infrastructure, sousveillance, historical examples, metaphors, (why are you still reading this?)



immediate: visibility through transparency

invisible-censorship-republica

By Pranesh Prakash

invisible-censorship-republica

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