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Can Internet censorship of any particular content be justified under certain circumstances? Explain.

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow Walid Al-Saqaf

Walid is a Yemeni media researcher and activist. He is the developer of alkasir censorship circumvention software used to help users, primarily in the Middle East, access censored content.

This conversation will open at 1:00PM EST on August 5th.

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  • Aug 5 2011: I also have to agree with shaun on the wiki-leak type of information available. We are kidding ourselves if we think that, in this world of true and actual war-times and country fighting country, if we think that all of our governments and military actions should be out in the open. You put EVERY body at risk when we start leaking tactics et el....however...that is a close line there, considering our government does so much that should not be hidden; considering that we cannot always believe that everything that we don't know won't hurt us.
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      Aug 5 2011: Excellent point.

      That is why I think that censorship cannot be discussed without putting it into context. Therefore, I don't agree with the notion that all censorship is bad. Sometimes it is a trade-off, where censorship could end up being the lesser evil.
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      Aug 5 2011: Debi, what if governments started referring to other nations in internal "classified" material with the same protocol they do when discussing directly with another nation? I think there wouldn't be any need to have classified material if such happened.

      I think classified material is just something that shouts "We lie!" "We" being the government, and the receivers of such lies being their own people and other nations.

      It's nothing more than saying lies and deceit are part of the political game, and we not only allow it, we enforce it.

      I prefer to believe in a world of true and seriousness.
    • Aug 5 2011: Lets say however that instead of targeting governments and corporations, they target individual information, like where your children live, where you hide the extra key to your house or some secret physical vulnerability that could cause you instant death. How is it not the same for our military? There are innocent soldiers that could be harmed by the information leaked, yet they are not the ones responsible for the wrong doings of their superiors.
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        Aug 5 2011: I agrre completely, Anthony.

        What I find disgusting is that not even the superiors are responsible for their wrong doings. At least, not in a world where classified material is the rule, with public "sensible" information being the exception.

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