[IRPCoalition] New paper on NN and ZR out today: Where are the Users?

John Laprise jlaprise at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 18:43:34 EEST 2015

Hi Jeanette,


> I find comparisons between walled gardens created for commercial reasons and statual bans of things such as the denial of the holocaust (an important restriction of freedom of expression in Germany and other European countries) very problematic. > Should you have other legal restrictions of freedom of expression in mind, you should be more precise.


I do not.


Statual bans and state censorship of content vary around the world. ONI provides a good starting point. I recognize that coming from the US where free speech enjoys an unusual of constitutional protection makes this point of view an outlier. That said, much of the censorship documented by ONI   https://opennet.net/ is imposed to chill contrary points of view to that of the government. Having worked in Qatar for five years, I understand such pernicious effects all too well. I understand your point but would point out that most of the world and most Internet users do not operate under EU rule of law and in fact globally rule of law tends to be weak if not arbitrary and capricious on the whole. 


My broader point in making the comparison is that there will be new Internet users who will be disappointed, distrustful if not angry with advocates for having supported them for a free and open Internet upon discovering that the free and open Internet of the state is nothing of the sort, damaging the standing of the advocate. And users will come to this realization. The use of VPNs to circumvent national blocking is common practice among experienced Internet users.


Best regards, 


John Laprise, Ph.D.

Consulting Scholar




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