Social Networks and Country-Wide Content Filtering


Apropos of nothing really, via Slashdot I see that a fascinating new product to route around country-wide internet filters, called Psiphon, has been released for public download.

NB: Amusingly, the actual Psiphon site is actually blocked by a number of corporate filtering programs. To learn about a few details, take a read through either this article, or the Wikipedia entry on it.

The idea really isn't new, as pointed out by the Slashdot posting, and Psiphon is just another in a line of proxy and filter avoidance technology. Just another step in the arms race between those looking to keep tight control over internet access and those who want to get around it. Now, if only there were a good, analytical way to study the process of interactions in arms races.

Kevin, any thoughts?


This case is an odd blending of thinking behind Kahn's On Thermonuclear War and Sen's "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal" The latter is important because folks behind Psiphon and similar services gain utility from solely from granting access to all materials -- even lewd materials like Lady Chatterley's Lover and Truck & Barter. The former is important because it is helpful to model the reformers and outsiders as the Soviet aggressors, and the authoritarian governments as undertaking a strategy designed to yield mutually assured destruction.

I'll flesh this out, if I can find the time.

Oh, sure. Show me up by taking me seriously.

It's your punishment for making me think while at work.


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This page contains a single entry by published on December 1, 2006 1:40 PM.

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