Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Censorship by UN at UN forum on ... censorship!

What's the probability that sales of the book being advertised at the "Internet Governance Forum" in Egypt will rocket after UN security officials removed a poster giving details of the book? Part of the banner read: "internet censorship and surveillance are increasing in democratic countries as well as authoritarian states. The first generation of controls, typified by China's 'Great Firewall', are being replaced by more sophisticated techniques that go beyond mere denial of information."

This could easily be a repeat of the 'Streisand effect' where an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information backfires, causing the information to be publicized widely and to a greater extent than would have occurred if no censorship had been attempted.