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Matéria interessantíssima do Financial Times sobre a internet. Muito se fala da China, mas o que se vê pelo mundo é que a internet não é mais terra de ninguém. É uma terra de muitas nações e suas diferentes leis.

In popular consciousness, the internet still promises a borderless world, a place where the free flow of information threatens artificial barriers erected by nation states. But the web is fast being carved up by national laws and regulations, whether aimed at suppressing opinion, tackling pornography or identity theft, as countries around the world learn the techniques of control. Far from being a universal medium, the world wide web is becoming balkanised – as users are now learning.

It’s true of cyberspace as it is of real space – companies have to bow to the laws and customs of the countries they operate in,” says Jack Goldsmith of Harvard law school.

A Austrália é um dos países que o FT dá como exemplo:

In the name of suppressing child pornography, the Labor government of Kevin Rudd, prime minister, has championed the imposition of some of the toughest internet filters proposed by any established democracy. Many internet companies fear that this is just the thin end of the wedge.

Essa parte é foda:

This realpolitik has been brought home by Google’s decision first to bow to Chinese censors, and then last week to attempt to retain its Chinese search presence while dodging the effects of censorship.

People will now see that there’s a global battle going on over the future of the internet,” says Ron Deibert of the University of Toronto and a founder of the OpenNet Initiative, which tracks global censorship.

Na Itália, funcionários do google estão ameaçados de prisão por conta de um vídeo que mostra jovens agredindo um garoto com problemas mentais. Vídeo este que foi logo banido quando surgiram os primeiros protestos.

Google’s Mr Drummond, for instance, would probably want to avoid travelling to Italy right now. In a landmark case, a court there last month handed him and two other executives six-month suspended prison sentences. Their offence was to have failed to prevent YouTube from carrying a video showing the harassment of an autistic child.

Isso aqui me lembra o Evgeny morozov:

As examples such as Italy and Australia show, internet censorship is not limited to repressive regimes. “Internet freedom is a bit of a Rorschach test: it means different things to different people,” says Rebecca MacKinnon of Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy and an expert on Chinese censorship.

Uma boa observação sobre o embate entre google e china:

Working out how to counter repressive and unwarranted attacks on internet freedom, while still leaving governments room to protect their citizens from online abuse, will not be easy. Google, whose role as gatekeeper for much of the world’s online information puts it at the centre of the debate, has apparently decided it is time to stake out a clearer line. “As they butt up against more governments, they are realising they need a consistent position,” Ms MacKinnon says. “This is not just about China – it’s about how the internet is going to be regulated globally.”

Uma previsão que mostra bem como o futuro repete o passado:

“It took a generation for companies to recognise their responsibilities in terms of labour practices, and another generation for them to recognise their environmental obligations,” says Ms MacKinnon. Developing ethical rules for the web, she adds, is likely to take just as long.

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