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A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the coming-soon-to-a-security-theater-near-you dept.

Censorship 158

An anonymous reader writes "Imagine a world where the book burners had won. A world where information is filtered and must be approved by governments before it can be accessed by their citizens. A world where people are held down and kept in line by oppressive regimes that restrict the free flow of information and bombard citizens with government-approved messages. Now stop imagining, because this horrifying world already exists..."

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[censored] (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47756913)

[censored]

What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47756945)

The countries not polled by this?
Like Canada? What's going on there? Is it free?

Re:What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757017)

I can assure you that internet access here is far from free - we actually pay more than other places, and our ISPs are not above direct HTTP injection just to let you know you're approaching the bandwidth cap.

Re:What about.. (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 2 months ago | (#47757233)

our ISPs are not above direct HTTP injection just to let you know you're approaching the bandwidth cap

It's shit like this... [eff.org]

It sounds like their intentions are good with that particular case though, if I'm understanding correctly. I'd far prefer an SMS, personally...

Re:What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757383)

Duhh. He was talking about "free" as in freedom of speech, not the price of the Internet connection.

Re:What about.. (2, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47757411)

Give me a little censorship in the States any day over Quebec's crazy-ass "cultural heritage" laws. I never have to sorry about being thrown in prison in the U.S. because I dare to put up a sign in the wrong language, or dare to piss off some crazy French nationalist by suggesting that England may not be so bad.

Re:What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757805)

Je me souviens quand Qubec était le français. Peut-être vous sacrément intrus anglais devriez sortir de notre ville!

Re:What about.. (1)

rhazz (2853871) | about 2 months ago | (#47757869)

Oh get off your high horse. Yes, if only Canada had stamped out all other languages [wikipedia.org] officially in government a hundred years ago, then we wouldn't have these issues today. And in the US there are definitely language issues - in some places you can speak any language you want as long as that language is English [washingtonpost.com] .

I very much disagree with Quebec's (and the rest of the country's) language laws, but the US isn't some magical place where all these problems don't exist - they just don't exist for the english population.

Re:What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757089)

Yeah, it creates a bit skewed appearance of data if it is missing countries. How can we know if Canada is not wanting to draw away attention from itself and paid the researchers a nice $10,000 package to conveniently just skip the country in the study?

Re: What about.. (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 2 months ago | (#47757393)

Takes some seriously Orwellian doublethink to pretend copyright enforcement isn't censorship. The idea that the USA is a bastion of freedom... wake me up when there's a study made by people who aren't batshit crazy.

Corporate "laws" (4, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 months ago | (#47757877)

Takes some seriously Orwellian doublethink to pretend copyright enforcement isn't censorship.

I think this is the result of a very narrow view point when making the map. They seem to only care about censorship by the state through direct laws. Increasingly in the US, and so some extent the rest of the western world, it is not government which restricts our rights but companies. They need to make a second map showing countries where companies have used laws to force, or bully, people into being censored through the threat of massive financial penalties.

Re:Corporate "laws" (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47758053)

I agree... there should be a color for this. In between "Free" and "Partly free"; there should be a "Technically Free but de-facto censored" category

For countries where corporations can use legal techniques such as DMCA to intimidate web site operators into removing speech.

Aiding and abetting infringement (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47758519)

Under the definition you suggest, any WTO member recognizing the legal theory of aiding and abetting infringement [wikipedia.org] would be "partly free".

Re: What about.. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47758915)

Half true. Copyright isn't intended as a tool of censorship - it isn't to stop people getting access to information, but to make sure they pay for it. Generally if a copyright holder is trying to stop you downloading a movie off the internet, they really do want you to see it - but through their own approved channel.

That said, it can certainly be abused for censorship, and frequently is. But that isn't the purpose of it. Just an incidental effect.

Your life is SO AWFUL. (3, Interesting)

Cragen (697038) | about 2 months ago | (#47759073)

Takes some seriously Orwellian doublethink to pretend copyright enforcement isn't censorship.

If copyright issues are your biggest complaint, you have a pretty good life. I am betting you have electricity, running water, and toilets, things much of the "free world" doesn't have, much less relative freedom of speech. You simply have no idea what life is like outside your environment. Please do travel outside your local country. Hopefully, it will be an eye-opener (and heart-opener) for you.

Re:What about.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757773)

The countries not polled by this?
Like Canada? What's going on there? Is it free?

Canada is well on the way to censorship [wikipedia.org] .

Doesn't work (2)

iONiUM (530420) | about 2 months ago | (#47756963)

The summary links to an article which has a link in it to the map which doesn't load.

What a waste of space. Why is this on Slashdot? Find a reliable source, and then post it.

Re:Doesn't work (5, Informative)

mlkj (3794193) | about 2 months ago | (#47757013)

Works for me. Maybe the servers are just choking under the load. Here's a screenshot : http://a.pomf.se/xcxzwr.png [a.pomf.se]

Re:Doesn't work (1)

iONiUM (530420) | about 2 months ago | (#47757159)

Thanks! I live in Canada, but it's greyed out? Our internet is not censored, or if it is, they do such a good job that I don't even know it's censored.

Re:Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757865)

Grayed out just means the study didn't include them. Your internet is probably fine.

Re:Doesn't work (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47758089)

Grayed out just means the study didn't include them. Your internet is probably fine.

This isn't very cool. They're supposedly making a map that is supposed to convince us that internet censorship is widespread, then they gray out most of the countries and don't include them in the study.

I think they just chose a pool of countries to study that are known to have highly censored internet access.

Re:Doesn't work (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 2 months ago | (#47757389)

Works for me. Maybe the servers are just choking under the load.

Here's a screenshot : http://a.pomf.se/xcxzwr.png [a.pomf.se]

I've been on /. for 15 years. That's the first time I've clicked an image link here that actually went to the image that I was expecting. Thank you.

Re:Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757741)

That happens to me all the time.
But then I expect every linked image to be goatse.

Re:Doesn't work (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 2 months ago | (#47757069)

The summary links to an article which has a link in it to the map which doesn't load.

It's probably been censored by your ISP :)

Re:Doesn't work (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 months ago | (#47757185)

The summary links to an article which has a link in it to the map which doesn't load.

What a waste of space. Why is this on Slashdot? Find a reliable source, and then post it.

Are you sure you're not censored???!!?!??!?!?!!1111zomg

But yes, the actual map is slashdotted

Re:Doesn't work (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 2 months ago | (#47757339)

It's not called getting "slashdotted" for nothin', ya know.

You want to contact the site and offer to mirror it on your own servers, be our guest.

.

Re:Doesn't work = Censored my Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757517)

Attempting to access the link from the article froze my Mac: That is censorship.

Re:Doesn't work (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 2 months ago | (#47758507)

The page the map is on first caused my browser to alert me that it has an invalid security cert, and then was blocked by the security settings in my DNS filter (which is set pretty wide open for the most part, i mainly use it for blocking content I don't want to see). Thats a cool place to store a internet censorship map.

Re:Doesn't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47759141)

The summary links to an article which has a link in it to the map which doesn't load.

What a waste of space. Why is this on Slashdot? Find a reliable source, and then post it.

Who f'in cares, it worked for just about everyone else, you didn't miss anything it is the same countries that are always being reported on for censorship. So your right about this article being a complete waste of time.

North Korea not listed? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47756965)

North Korea should be very NOT FREE.

Re:North Korea not listed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757049)

Well, you can't measure internet censorship if nobody has internet ..

Re:North Korea not listed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757851)

For the ordinary folk, North Korea isn't connected to the global Internet.

Re:North Korea not listed? (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 2 months ago | (#47758561)

Its hard to represent negative numbers in this sort of graph.

Slashdotted (1)

AlecDalek (3781731) | about 2 months ago | (#47756973)

The map's already been Slashdotted. Yet another type of censorship.

And the US government is well on its way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47756975)

Truthy [indiana.edu] database.

Streaming Twitter data is acquired in real-time from the 'Gardenhose'. We match all tweets against a set of keywords to exclude tweets unlikely to contain political discussion, and extract all memes

Yeah, what "memes" would the government want to pay millions of dollars to extract? I'm sure "hate speech" and "terrurusm" are in the mix.

Re:And the US government is well on its way... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 months ago | (#47757637)

I'm in ur base, strip serchin' ur cheezburgers?

This webpage is not available Reload (1)

Fackamato (913248) | about 2 months ago | (#47756977)

Looks like they censored themselves.

North America? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47756999)

Based on how little world or local news of importance is available through online news outlets North America should be colored crimson red.

Re:North America? (2)

praxis (19962) | about 2 months ago | (#47757363)

Based on how little world or local news of importance is available through online news outlets North America should be colored crimson red.

There are all sorts of reputable news outlets in North America covering world news well. Also, sites outside of North America are accessible (not blocked) from North America.

Re: North America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757827)

Yup. The issue is that people just don't care.

Re:North America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758151)

Here's a fix: go to google news and pick news for country from/near region you're interested in then google translate articles that are not in English.

Re:North America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757713)

I know, tell me about it! I couldn't even get my air conditioning to stop pumping blissfully cool air over my body as I lay on my 500ct egyptian cotton sheets this morning, sipping a mocha latte from Starbucks. I was in grave danger of having to break a sweat walking down to the nearest unencrypted public wifi where I could be comfortable.

It's like, the people of the world don't even CARE about the plight of us poor north americans.

These first world problems are a bitch, I tell ya.

Re:North America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758203)

Disinformation is what mad US spend trillions of dollars for war efforts with little ROI.

Re:North America? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47759011)

Ah yes, that's right. There were absolutely no voices of criticism or opposition to all that "disinformation," because the US government brutally cracked down on protests and citizens.

I remember the Zucotti Square massacre as if it was only yesterday! Those brave heroes died at the hands of a repressive government bent on dominating and controlling all aspects of thought and information that citizens are exposed to.

Seriously, bro - there is a WORLD of difference between "some people in power made misleading statements and the press reported on them" and "the government brutally suppresses any dissenting speech or writing using violence, intimidation, and secret thought police."

mod points (0)

liquidpele (663430) | about 2 months ago | (#47757027)

These "mod points" slashdot gives just censors everyone, comments should be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!eleven

[Citation Needed] (5, Informative)

Mycroft-X (11435) | about 2 months ago | (#47757051)

United States is shown as:
VIOLATIONS OF USER RIGHTS 12/40
FREEDOM ON THE NET 17/100
OBSTACLES TO ACCESS 4/25
LIMITS ON CONTENT 1/35

But they don't say what these things are and which ones are violated. Without the context and citations the results are meaningless -- I could create the same thing in Paint.

Re:[Citation Needed] (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47757523)

If you get to the specific page for the US, it lists the following as conditions that were met:

- Political, Social and/or Religious Content Blocked?
- Localized or Nationwide ICT Shutdown?
- Pro-government Commentators Manipulate Online Discussions?
- New Law/Directive Increasing Censorship or Punishment Passed?
- New Law/Directive Increasing Surveillance or Restricting Anonymity Passed?
- Blogger/ICT User Arrested for Political or Social Writings?
- Blogger/ICT User Physically Attacked or Killed (including in custody)?
- Technical Attacks Against Government Critics and Human Rights Organisations?

Nowhere are any of those cited (at least not publicly that I could see), but at least a few of them do appear to be true, based on news we've all likely heard.

Re: [Citation Needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757611)

You want the truth!? You couldn't handle the truth.

You have no rights on the internet. 'Tis a silly place where editors determine truth from ABC to UBS, the DoD circulates propanda produced to look like NEWS, the NSA makes illegal surveillance available to law enforcement, and law enforcement fabicates cover stories to disguise its sources from oversight in the courts or scrutiny by the public.

But Izzie Stone wrote a book called All Governments lie, the Pentagon Papers were published (under threat of prosecution), Comcast weaseled more money out of Netfix, and Cingular is dba AT&T after reconglometating the most profitable telecom bits and facilitating big brother.

Everything is a mixed bag, but it is too bad this intetactive map isn't more explicit.

Re:[Citation Needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757797)

But they don't say what these things are and which ones are violated. Without the context and citations the results are meaningless -- I could create the same thing in Paint.

See the full report for methodology and a full discussion about each country:
http://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/resources/FOTN%202013_Full%20Report_0.pdf

There is a long discussion about the situation in US and under Methodology you can see the questions that give a certain country points.
There is no simple checklist to see what question a particular country scored on, as far as I can see, but the discussion for each country should give you a good idea on what questions a country has scored.

Censorship or wholesale surveilance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757067)

Would the map be completely red if combined with the 'does wholesale surveilance' data?

Link has no map? (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 months ago | (#47757073)

It links to an article that wants you to click a lot more before you ever get to any map. What the hell ever happened to accessing information on the web, as opposed to clicking just on a bunch of ads?

Imagine a world where global advertising has eliminated all information, never mind censorship. That world has already happened.

Re:Link has no map? (3, Funny)

TuringTest (533084) | about 2 months ago | (#47758787)

Don't worry, the upcoming trend is "native advertising" - having ads embedded on the content stream with the same format than articles (mmh, why does that sound familiar?). That way, you don't even need to click on the ads.

Lame.. (2, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47757103)

Lame, lame and lame. It's been going on for years and just because your country doesn't ascribe to censorship they're most likely tracking your activities surreptitiously. While it was a lofty goal to have an Internet free from Censors, you're not going to get that to happen in every place all the time. There was once a trial in Canada over a very serious crime there was some testimony that was extremely sensitive involving the crime. The judge in the case issued a gag order including that of all Canadian press organizations not to publish details about it. That didn't of course apply to US journalists covering the trial who published the information in the US. This led to Canadian border agents seizing US newspapers because of the publication of the information. The point here is that some view censorship as beneficial in certain cases while others view it with disdain. For example, this week I saw a video of a beheading. Now after watching it I probably wish that somebody had filtered that for me.

Re:Lame.. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47757297)

For example, this week I saw a video of a beheading. Now after watching it I probably wish that somebody had filtered that for me.

I haven't seen a video of a beheading because someone filtered it for me. "Someone" being myself. I'm not going to purposefully watch a beheading video. So unless someone tricks me into watching one, I'm not going to see it.

Re:Lame.. (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47757491)

Well I did it out of curiosity and being curious means some garish views in my minds eye. Curiosity did kill the cat.

Re:Lame.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758219)

Well now you know better. But which is more horrifying to you: having the choice to see how garish reality is, or having it pre-screened for you by people you don't even know and hence not even being able to see?

Re:Lame.. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 months ago | (#47758581)

I tried to watch it, but... well let me put it this way: I was actually relieved to be Rick-rolled.

Re:Lame.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758521)

Odd how censorship is quantified. For example, while in South America, trying to go to YouTube tells me "I don't have permission to watch that content in my location". So while there are some known issues about government involvement in censoring information, there's a lot of involvement from editorial houses, tv and radio networks to not allow other countries access to information the US has.

So how's this censorship evaluated?

Re:Lame.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758785)

For example, this week I saw a video of a beheading

Congratulations then. You did exactly what the people who posted that video intended you to do.

Re:Lame.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758851)

Now after watching it I probably wish that somebody had filtered that for me.

The point against censorship is that the choice of watching the video is your alone, and not that of somebody whose values, opinions and goals in life are not yours. Although I wouldn't watch such videos myself, the fact that I could watch it should I choose to do so is how I see myself less oppressed by, and free from some of the most offensive people in human communities everywhere.
  A comparison could be the difference between living in a large city versus a small village or a town during the pre-Internet age: you don't have the same selection of movies in a theater of a small town, and the shops don't stock the same things. Even if one doesn't watch the movies or buy the products, he or she feels more free when they are available.
The individual should be able to choose how banal or glorious life to live, and make a different choice at will.

Book burning... (2, Interesting)

lcam (848192) | about 2 months ago | (#47757123)

... is the cornerstone of decadence.

It actually started with the burning of the great library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypathia at the start of an era we call the Dark Ages when Christianity was born. Centuries of a murderous, and genocidal campaign was untaken to erase specific information from human knowledge and history.

I find it odd to read an article shared on /. starting with "Imagine a world where the book burners had won."

Re:Book burning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757195)

Exactly. It's just like the mods on Slashdot sending posts down to a -1 because they don't like what they read. Such as:

Welcome to Niggerbuntu

Niggerbuntu is a Linux-based operating system consisting of Free and Open Source software for laptops, desktops, and servers. Niggerbuntu has a clear focus on the user and usability - it should Just Work, even if the user has only the thinking capacities of a sponge. the OS ships with the latest Gnomrilla release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off of a single installation CD.

It also features the packaging manager ape-ghetto, and the challenging Linux manual pages have been reformatted into the new 'monkey' format, so for example the manual for the shutdown command can be accessed just by typing: 'monkey shut-up -h now mothafukka' instead of 'man shutdown'.

Absolutely Free of Charge

Niggerbuntu is free software, and available to you free of charge, as in free beer or free stuffs you can get from looting. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. The freedom, to run, copy, steal, distribute, study, share, change and improve the software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.

Free software as in free beer !

Niggerbuntu is an ancient Nigger word, meaning "humanity to monkeys". Niggerbuntu also means "I am what I am because of how apes behave". The Niggerbuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Niggerbuntu to the software world.

The dictator Bokassa described Niggerbuntu in the following way:

        "A subhuman with Niggerbuntu is open and available to others (like a white bitch you're ready to fsck), affirming of others, does not feel threatened by the fact that other species are more intelligent than we are, for it has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that it belongs to the great monkey specie."

We chose the name Niggerbuntu for this distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of sharing and looting that is at the heart of the open source movement.

Niggerbuntu - Linux for Subhuman Beings.

Re: Book burning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757489)

This is flamebait and entirely off-topic, mods exist to -1 these sorts of posts, don't complain when it happens.

Re:Book burning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757295)

... is the cornerstone of decadence.

It actually started with the burning of the great library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypathia at the start of an era we call the Dark Ages when Christianity was born. Centuries of a murderous, and genocidal campaign was untaken to erase specific information from human knowledge and history.

I find it odd to read an article shared on /. starting with "Imagine a world where the book burners had won."

Your entire historical knowledge is based on things you learned riding a ride at Epcot.

Re:Book burning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757405)

I find it odd to read a comment with specific enough knowledge to name Hypathia, but yet uninformed enough to link the birth of Christianity with the largely misnamed "dark ages" 500 years later.

There was no concerted effort during the early medieval age to destroy information, as there was no central authority with enough clout to enact such a thing. Yes, over the period of hundreds years there were many instances of random kings, princes, bishops, popes, caliphs, shahs, etc.. each with their own sets of propaganda to enforce. Regions were conquered and reconquered again and again and new narratives imposed to substantiate the right of the new rulers.

"Genocide" as we know wasn't really something that could exist, as our current concepts of culture, race and ethnicity are all products of the enlightenment and imposing those ideas on the past misses what was actually happening at the time.

Re:Book burning... (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#47757897)

Look up 'the Nicean Council'. They are the ones that edited the new testament and had the unapproved/old version gospels burned. About 300AD IIRC.

Re:Book burning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758535)

Editing / canononicalizing a set of religious texts for the sake of establishing a religion as the official state religion is a very different thing from a concerted effort to destroy information in general, and again a separate thing from the burning of the library by the Coptic church. Constantine certainly did have the centralized power to enact a decent empire-wide purging of knowledge, and I certainly won't argue that information wasn't lost, but I don't know of anyone who would classify his reign as anything remotely "dark age".

Re:Book burning... (1)

lcam (848192) | about 2 months ago | (#47758375)

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Christianity definitely didn't start at 0 AD. If wikipedia serves, started at about 300 AD when Constantine started recognizing the group. There was that a council of scholars (I believe known as The Councils of Nicaea) that decided on what should be put into the compilation we know as the bible then the erection of the first church in 380AD.

Hypathia, the respected but troublesome figure, was murdered around 415AD, 35 years later. The Dark ages starting about a hundred years later (according to Wikipedia), presumably when a more widespread campaign of stamping out a competing vision of the biblical god becomes economically and politically viable. Join us or die ultimatum.

I contend is that there where repeated efforts to suppress or destroy information. Consider Galileo as an obvious example, and he was only put under house arrest because of his nobility. Furthermore, If you consider the most common method to convey information to be in the form of a story, killing people who know and tell stories destroys information.

I will admit, putting aside your interesting contentions for the moment, I may have applied the word you quoted in this historic context irresponsibly, not because I feel it would misrepresent what actually happened, but irresponsibly because of knee jerk reaction conditioning people have to defend their faith from such a challenge. And that is where the actual point gets missed.

Lastly, perhaps we both agree that history is written by the those who are victorious. The conclusions about central authorities with enough clout or central authority in regions being conquered will never paint a negative light on history retold, the requirement of being a truthful historic entry being optional, what is not optional is that their history be aligned to dogma of their allies, other church based political allies for instance.

In our time of government secrets, no credible historian will deviate substantially from official press releases in their interpretation of major events like 9/11 or even the Iraq war even though no threat has actually been issued against the lives of journalists or their families. The tin foil hat crowd is just ignored and make up that "static" portion of the bandwidth. If the message is still too clear, then attack a producer or directors credibility with more static.

In 500 years time, conjectures supposing the official view, for example, Iraq was invaded for oil can become another interpretation of how our energy dependency influenced historians to such conclusions. The declension may been be a part of a further hereto unfolding push to discredit such views.

In many ways, this latest trend of destroying information that doesn't suit the state, or whatever authority behind the state, is old hat, the only thing new these days is that we live in a world with the internet. For the most part, killing someone's image is more effective in killing their message without the martyrdom problem.

Re:Book burning... (2, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 months ago | (#47759033)

Christianity was around before 300AD, but the record is poor because they were just another weird cult - and there were plenty of those around. It may well have started in exactly the manner Christians claim: As a cult of personality built around one charismatic individual in the vicinity of Jerusalem in the first century. That information has been lost to history. The Council of Nicaea wasn't the birth of Christianity, but the point at which the previously-pagan Roman empire began to adopt it - a process that required first wading through the mess left by the many competing sects with in Christianity and the establishment of a formal management system. It took some decades after that before it was ready to become an official state religion.

Contrary to a very popular belief though, the council did not establish a canon. They condemned a lot of views as heretical, yes. But they didn't pick a canonical set of documents. That came later, in a process that took many centuries, and there are still ongoing disputes.

I still don't know what the bishop who included Revelation was thinking. It reads like the ramblings of someone high as a kite on 'shrooms, and probably was.

The myths of Alexandria (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 2 months ago | (#47758305)

It actually started with the burning of the great library of Alexandria and the murder of Hypathia at the start of an era we call the Dark Ages when Christianity was born.

Although there is a mythology of the burning of the Library at Alexandria, the library may have suffered several fires or acts of destruction over many years. Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by Julius Caesar in 48 BC, an attack by Aurelian in the A.D. 270s, the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in A.D. 391, and the decree of the second caliph Omar ibn Al-khattab in A.D. 640.

It's contents were largely lost during the taking of the city by the Emperor Aurelian (A.D. 270-275), who was suppressing a revolt by Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. During the course of the fighting, the areas of the city in which the main library was located were damaged. Some sources claim that the smaller library located at the Serapeum survived, though Ammianus Marcellinus wrote of the library in the Serapeum temple as a thing of the past, destroyed when Caesar sacked Alexandria.

Library of Alexandria [wikipedia.org]

According to the only contemporary source, Hypatia was murdered [370 AD] by a Christian mob after being accused of exacerbating a conflict between two prominent figures in Alexandria: the governor Orestes and the Bishop of Alexandria. Kathleen Wider proposes that the murder of Hypatia marked the end of Classical antiquity, and Stephen Greenblatt observes that her murder "effectively marked the downfall of Alexandrian intellectual life". On the other hand, Maria Dzielska and Christian Wildberg note that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish in the 5th and 6th centuries, and perhaps until the age of Justinian.

Hypatia [wikipedia.org]

Re:The myths of Alexandria (1)

lcam (848192) | about 2 months ago | (#47758427)

Nice. Thanks for sharing.

Why is Canada greyed out? (1)

genner (694963) | about 2 months ago | (#47757137)

Why no info on Canada? What are they hiding from us!

Re:Why is Canada greyed out? (1)

davecb (6526) | about 2 months ago | (#47757193)

The whole country is a secret: the government of the day suffered a hostile takeover by space aliens masquerading a toupees. Just have a look at any picture of the PM (;-))

Re:Why is Canada greyed out? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47757269)

The whole country is a secret: the government of the day suffered a hostile takeover by space aliens masquerading a toupees. Just have a look at any picture of the PM (;-))

Just don't look at Rob Ford. He's not even trying to disguise himself.

THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

Re:Why is Canada greyed out? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47757309)

Why no info on Canada? What are they hiding from us!

Just wait, you'll see soon enough. ;-)

All I can say for now is ... Moosenado!

Censorception? (1)

blueshift_1 (3692407) | about 2 months ago | (#47757145)

So the document on government censorship of the internet appears to be censored :o I smell a government conspiracy!

Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757155)

What's the "horrifying" part?

Nothing here we don't already know.

Is Slashdot now using the HuffPo style of clickbait headlines?

The netherlands, no information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757205)

I live in the Netherlands and I can't imagine that the creator of this map could not get any information on our country (it's greyed out). We even have net neutrality laws. I don't think the creator of this map put in a whole lot of effort and this diminishes my trust in the values allocated to other countries.

Re:The netherlands, no information (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757313)

We even have net neutrality laws.

So you're saying that The Netherlands shouldn't be marked as free on the map then? Good to know!

Irony (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 2 months ago | (#47757215)

I tried viewing this site from my work, and the map was replaced by my corporate 'Ad Blocked' image.

Wow. Shriek much? (1)

seven of five (578993) | about 2 months ago | (#47757223)

"most important thing you’ll see today" ... "this horrifying world already exists" ... other news bits on bgw: "awesome iPhone apps..." ... "Man suffers burns when OnePlus One explodes in his back pocket"

Horrifying??? (0)

bhv (178640) | about 2 months ago | (#47757303)

The internet is a source of as much mis-information as it is information. In that you are censored with every click. What is truly horrifying is that some think this is horrifying. Back away from the tech for a few weeks.

While I would most definitely have to find a new profession, I view a world without the internet as refreshing and may go so far as to call it the beginnings of a utopia.

A Horrifying First World Problem (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | about 2 months ago | (#47757337)

A world where people are held down and kept in line by oppressive regimes that restrict the free flow of information and bombard citizens with government-approved messages. Now stop imagining, because this horrifying world already exists..."

There are more things horrifying in this world than Internet censorship. It is an important topic, but it is one that deserve appropriate discussion, not geek uber-hoopla. So please spare us from the unnecessary histrionics.

If you need to rely on histrionics to make your point, then your point is irrelevant, or you are an idiot who cannot communicate properly, or a cheap entertainer, or an attention whore. Or a combination of them all.

Major censorship country is left off map! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757345)

The State of Israel is ignored on this map despite its low 96th spot on the World Freedom Press Index of 2014 which would suggest a high degree of censorship!

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php

Stop being such a drama queen. (5, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 months ago | (#47757445)

"Imagine a world in which the book burners had won"

Please. "Horrifying"?

The OP pimps itself breathlessly as "This interactive map of global Internet censorship is the most important thing youâ(TM)ll see today" - yes, it's about as important (and surprising) as the sun coming up in the East.

The facts are that
a) the ubiquitous availability of information is a relatively new thing. Public libraries didn't even really exist until the latter 19th/E20th centuries. The internet is less than a generation old.
b) governments and power structures have controlled such information throughout the span of human history.

The panicked tone of the article implies that this is worse than ever, which is patently histrionic bullshit. Even in these heavily censored countries, these people have access to information that they NEVER would have had before.

I'm not even 100% convinced that the ideal of universal access to information is an unalloyed good. Certainly, from the POV of a midwestern, middle class educated individual I *assume* that the net result of having more information is beneficial - but I can certainly see that there are negative aspects to "everything open", such as people who clearly don't understand basic science drawing conclusions from unfiltered scientific data. Or statistics? How many people are easily manipulated by presentations of statistics that they don't even understand? Again, my gut tells me that the "net" is a benefit, but I can't say I'm certain.

Again, as a small-l liberal, I believe that information and communication is probably good in the long run; even the small trickles of illumination sneaking into those heavily censored places suggests to me that their ability to keep their people in ignorance will eventually expire. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

A glass 95% empty is still a crapton better than no glass at all.

Re:Stop being such a drama queen. (2)

pavon (30274) | about 2 months ago | (#47757841)

such as people who clearly don't understand basic science drawing conclusions from unfiltered scientific data.

Those people come to their predetermined conclusions with or without the the raw data, but removing restrictions on distribution of data does help real researchers.

Or statistics? How many people are easily manipulated by presentations of statistics that they don't even understand?

Again those presenters would be manipulating opinion with or without openly available data.The fact that the statistics are openly available is the only chance people have to prove them wrong.

So neither of the examples of negative aspects are actually negative. At best the open information gives other groups the opportunity to debunk the lies and correct public knowledge, at worst people will ignore the facts for the opinions they prefer which is no worse than before the facts were available.

Re:Stop being such a drama queen. (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 2 months ago | (#47758127)

a) the ubiquitous availability of information is a relatively new thing. Public libraries didn't even really exist until the latter 19th/E20th centuries. The internet is less than a generation old.
b) governments and power structures have controlled such information throughout the span of human history.

I'm not even 100% convinced that the ideal of universal access to information is an unalloyed good.

Nothing is pure good. Fortunately that's not the standard for good. Unfettered access to the Internet merely has to be better than government censorship of the internet. That's the real choice, not internet vs no internet. Unfettered access to information is one the founding principles of Democracy. Western nations have embraced this idea for around 200 years. Developing nations that aren't particularly democratic or are newly democratic are having to come to grips with this fact.

A country where the Government gets to censor what we see and hear can't function as a democracy. Democracy relies on the citizens being able to freely communicate. That can't happen under censorship. In the US the founding fathers reconized this because they were subject to a government that tried to control them. That's why the created the first amendment, and why other countries equally recongized this basic fact of a functioning democracy.

Map is worthless if you leave off major offenders (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | about 2 months ago | (#47757477)

The State of Israel is ignored on this map despite its low 96th spot on the World Freedom Press Index of 2014 which would suggest a high degree of censorship! http://rsf.org/index2014/en-in... [rsf.org]

Map it's not very accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757495)

My country it's white, but there's a bunch of censored sites and even complete ip ranges are banned and can't be accessed without a VPN.

So, map is not that reliable

Re: Map it's not very accurate (1)

thbigr (514105) | about 2 months ago | (#47757651)

What country?

when the gov. made the internet it was free (1)

thbigr (514105) | about 2 months ago | (#47757601)

Hmmmm.

Why wouldnÃ...£t we believe this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757643)

Mass-media was Ãinventedà as a tool for propaganda, not as a public service, let's not fool ourselves.
They will do everything in their power to not let it get diverted to a real information source.

Re: Why wouldnÃ...£t we believe t (1)

thbigr (514105) | about 2 months ago | (#47757675)

The internet was not invented for mass media

"Horrifying" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757725)

I liked it better when the headline didn't tell me how I was supposed to feel.

my access was censored! (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 months ago | (#47757777)

I thinkit was abd firefox plugin

REDACTED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757853)

the question is, does my hoodie make me look fat

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47757891)

It is every citizen's civic duty to step up and hold elected officials responsible and accountable. Civil servants want to play master to all except with big money interests. Make them earn their fat salary.

Looking at the wrong culprits (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47758003)

Governments don't do that much for internet censorship. The more dramatic censors are the corporate players who are doing everything they can to prevent information from getting out that can harm them.

Book Burners Have Always Won (1)

InfiniteZero (587028) | about 2 months ago | (#47758303)

History is written by the victors.

China and Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47758829)

It's called China and Iran.

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