Saudis Crowdsourcing Internet Censorship

from the let-them-do-the-work dept

A couple months ago we covered the Chinese government's effort to create a crowdsourced version of their Internet censorship operation. Now, BusinessWeek is reporting on a variation of this trend in Saudi Arabia. As you probably know, Saudi Arabia maintains an extensive Internet censorship effort, but, in contrast to the Chinese model which involves tens of thousands of workers, the Saudis only employs 25 people. Instead, roughly 1,200 requests are sent in by Saudi citizens, about half of which are subsequently blocked by the authorities. Further, the article says that "only" forty percent of citizens say they are concerned about the censorship. However, one wonders why the censorship requests are even necessary -- in cyberspace, it is exceedingly easy to avoid content one doesn't want to see. If these users find certain websites offensive, personal blocking mechanisms could easily blacklist them, without disturbing the nearly half of Saudis who are nervous about the censorship efforts.
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Filed Under: censorship, crowdsourcing, saudi arabia


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  • identicon
    Stephen, 17 Nov 2008 @ 7:33pm

    first post

    first post woot!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2008 @ 8:10pm

    I think psychology has a term to describe this type of person, I do not recall what it is but megalomaniac is close enough

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gary, 17 Nov 2008 @ 11:22pm

    When we talk about censorship, we have it in movies so that kids under 13 dont get to see scenes of people having $ex.

    Thru censorship wouldnt piracy come to an end? if not reduced?

    " it is exceedingly easy to avoid content one doesn't want to see", theres a lot of content thats trash & unsuitable for kids, elders & software/media companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      joe, 18 Nov 2008 @ 4:08am

      Re: "content thats trash & unsuitable for . . . elders"

      I'm 75 years old. You think there is something "unsuitable' that I haven't already seen so often it's boring? Fiddlesticks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Blatant Coward, 18 Nov 2008 @ 1:53am

    It all goes back to the Puritan impulse in some people, which is not directly linked to a particular religion but to the desire to do a deities work-someone who is desperately afraid that somebody, somewhere might be having a good time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MrPeach, 18 Nov 2008 @ 10:55am

    You really don't understand this?

    "However, one wonders why the censorship requests are even necessary -- in cyberspace, it is exceedingly easy to avoid content one doesn't want to see."

    This isn't about the reporter not wanting to see it, it's about the reporter not wanting anyone else to see it.

    It's a control thing. Like a previous poster noted - the puritanical impulse is alive and well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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