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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: Even outing known, perhaps even convicted pedophiles and murderers is questionable.
    People receiving/viewing this information have severe problems knowing what to do with this knowledge. They immediately become victims of their own prejudices.
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      Aug 5 2011: That's a legal problem to solve. Indeed, I never thought about it. What if someone mistakenly sends pedophile material to your email or stores it through a virus on your computer? Later on, if your device is discovered with this material, you become a victim and could be prosecuted.
      • Aug 5 2011: That is yet another problem with the "burden of evidence".
        How can I ever prove that material was not put there by someone else? That is not up to me!

        I so enjoyed reading the book "Svenska hackare" by Daniel Goldberg & Linus Larsson. Time and time again they present cases where other people's computer systems are used just as stepping stones onto the next target. Another example would be that Microsoft and the US gov and several other are working extremely hard battling among other things the worm STUXNET, which apparently has infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

        Can you be sure none of your systems are affected?

        In other places, screenshots of someone's IP address were accepted as evidence in some cases of copyright infringement.
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          Aug 5 2011: Indeed. Those difficult questions are still on the table with no real answer. Some people have become so paranoid that they are constantly reformatting their hard disks and re-installing their operating systems. It is really not the answer though.

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