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Access Contested

Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace

Edited by Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain

Publication Year: 2011

Experts examine censorship, surveillance, and resistance across Asia, from China and India to Malaysia and the Philippines.

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Information Revolution and Global Politics


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The OpenNet Initiative would not exist without the vital contributions of dozens of very talented and often courageous researchers from around the world. Jacqueline Larson provided invaluable editorial input for the entire book. The authorship and editing of the country profiles were led by Marianne Lau (Citizen Lab), Adam Senft (Citizen....

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Author Biographies

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pp. ix-xi

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, cyberspace has emerged as a leading sphere of contestation between largely democratic forces seeking to use the Internet and related “ liberation technologies ” to expand and enhance freedom, knowledge, and connectivity and...


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pp. xii

Part I Access Contested: Theory and Analysis

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1 Access Contested

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pp. 3-20

November 2009, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. At a large conference facility in the middle of a desert landscape, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is in full swing. Thousands of attendees from all over the world, lanyards draped over their chests, bags stuffed with papers and books, mingle with each other while moving in and out of conference rooms. Down one hallway...

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2 Contesting Cyberspace and the Coming Crisis of Authority

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pp. 21-42

In its short life span, the Internet has evolved from a laboratory research tool to a global immersive environment — called cyberspace — that encompasses all of society, economics, and politics. It is the communications environment in which all other activities are now immersed. From the beginning, one of its central characteristics has been its unusual dynamism...

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3 The Struggle for Digital Freedom of Speech

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pp. 43-64

Beginning in July 2008, sodomy was featured in most Malaysian sociopolitical blogs and the headlines of Malaysian dailies for several months — a curious phenomenon given that a majority of Malaysians are either deeply religious or morally conservative, or a combination of...

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4 Sexing the Internet

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pp. 65-82

The scholarly investigation of digital censorship and surveillance has moved from an initial focus on fact finding — what was filtered, who was under surveillance, and how this was accomplished technologically — to more contextualized investigations of the political, economic, and...

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5 Internet Politics in Thailand after the 2006 Coup

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pp. 83-114

In 2009, Thailand joined the rank of “ a new enemy of the Internet, ” according to Reporters Without Borders.1 This status is ironic, given the fact that the country ’ s name means “ land of the free ” in Thai. This development marked a signifi cant regress from a decade earlier when there was no cyber law and no regulator, only open Internet architecture and freedom...

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6 Competing Values Regarding Internet Use in “Free” Philippine Social Institutions

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pp. 115-132

The Internet is used within institutions to expand access to knowledge, to improve communications, to manage information, or to increase productivity. But users also download movies, write blog posts, and chat with friends. In other words, people do not always use the Internet for the original purpose for which an institution provided it. Though it is value neutral...

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7 Interconnected Contests

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pp. 133-152

In early 2008 the Vietnamese government announced plans to mine bauxite, the mineral used to make aluminum, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in cooperation with a Chinese company. These plans became the subject of increasing protest beginning in 2008 and continuing...

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8 Control and Resistance

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pp. 153-176

Burma is consistently identified by human rights organizations as one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Human rights violations occur with regularity, especially in connection with the country’s long-standing armed conflict. The ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development...

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9 China and Global Internet Governance

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pp. 177-194

As of June 2010 the Chinese government claimed the country ’ s number of “ netizens, ” or Internet users, had increased to 430 million.1 That very large number is only 32 percent of China’s total population.2 Already one of the biggest presences on the Internet, and with a long way to go yet, China and the Internet enjoy a complex and seemingly paradoxical...

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10 Corporate Accountability in Networked Asia

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pp. 195-216

In 2010, Google’s defiance of Chinese government censorship demands, followed by its decision to remove its Chinese search operations from mainland China, grabbed front-page headlines around the world. Human rights groups and socially responsible investors praised the global Internet...

Part II Country Profiles and Regional Overview

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Introduction to the Country Profiles

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pp. 219-224

The country profiles that follow offer a synopsis of the findings and conclusions of OpenNet Initiative (ONI) research into the factors influencing specific countries’ decisions to filter or abstain from filtering the Internet, as well as the impact, relevance, and efficacy of technical...

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Asia Overview

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pp. 225-240

Asian cyberspace is the setting for a diverse range of information controls, contestations, and resistance. Governments across the region struggle to balance the rapid growth of information communication technologies (ICTs) with their concerns over social stability, national...

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pp. 241-250

Although Internet access in Bangladesh is not restricted by a nationallevel filtering regime, the state has twice intervened..

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pp. 251-270

Burma’s ruling military junta is attempting to expand Internet access in the country while maintaining a restrictive system of control. Although less than only...

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pp. 271-298

China maintains one of the most pervasive and sophisticated regimes of Internet filtering and information control in the world. The community of Chinese Internet...

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pp. 299-308

A stable democracy with a strong tradition of press freedom, India nevertheless continues its regime of Internet filtering. However, India ’ s selective censorship of...

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pp. 309-322

The Internet in Indonesia has been expanding rapidly. Although broadband subscriptions are relatively expensive, users...

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pp. 323-338

The Malaysian government ’ s 1998 pledge not to censor the Internet rings hollow a decade later. Since an unprecedented loss of voter confidence in the 2008 Malaysian...

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pp. 339-350

In 2010, Pakistan made global headlines for blocking Facebook and other Web sites in response to a contest popularized on the social networking site to draw images..

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South Korea

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pp. 351-370

Despite the fact that South Korea has one of the most advanced information communication technology sectors in the world, online expression remains...

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pp. 371-384

Amid political crisis, a deep social divide, and the uncertainty of royal succession, Thailand’s Internet has become a contested terrain of various political views...

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pp. 385-398

The expansion of Internet use in the country has become a cause for concern for the government of Vietnam, which on one hand aspires to expand information...

Glossary of Technical Terms

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pp. 399-402


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pp. 403-414

E-ISBN-13: 9780262298919
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262016780

Page Count: 432
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Information Revolution and Global Politics