The fight for control of the internet has become critical: If plans to put cyberspace under a secretive UN agency go through, states’ censoring of the web will be globally enshrined by John Kampfner, former chief executive of Index on Censorship

In horror movies, the scariest moments usually come from the monster you can’t see. So the same goes for real life, or at least online life. Over the past few years, largely out of sight, governments have been clawing back freedoms on the internet, turning an invention that was designed to emancipate the individual into a tool for surveillance and control. In the next few months, this process is set to be enshrined internationally, amid plans to put cyberspace under the authority of a largely secretive and obscure UN agency.If this succeeds, this will be an important boost to states’ plans to censor the web and to use it to monitor citizens. Virtually all governments are at it. Some are much worse than others. The introduction last month of a law in Russia creating a blacklist of websites that contain “extremist” content was merely the latest example of an alarming trend. Authoritarian states have long seen cyberspace as the ultimate threat to their source of power.To continue reading this article in The Guardian, go to:
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/22/fight-control-internet-become-critical

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