Okay, I know I’ve done a post like this before, but I did this for a class, and it went through several revisions. I’m proud of my work, so here it is again.
Normally, the news covers societies censoring the Internet, but the Internet can censor other entities. According to a report on CNET News, the Iranian government has shut down Internet access and is planning to install a “firewalled national Internet.” Various email sites are down, as well as Facebook. There is a rumor of upcoming protests, and Iran is known for cutting internet during protests. Such old forms of censorship are nothing new.
What is new is the fact that the Internet used as a tool for censoring governments and individuals. Protests have been organized via the Internet – just look at the Egyptian, SOPA, and Iranian protesters. In the U.S., citizens email Senators and Representatives as a form of political activism. Websites, such as Occupy Wall Street, are dedicated to voicing public dissatisfaction and to attract government attention.
The Internet aids censorship of employees as well. Employers observe their current and future employees’ Facebook accounts (though this habit may soon be obsolete as Facebook limits employer access to accounts). Sometimes Internet access is limited because of censorship, but other times the Internet is the tool that enables censorship.