It's not just the Chinese and Iranian governments. Democratically elected governments are pushing the line further and further in the interest of public safety. Where should the "do not cross" line be drawn? I fear it will get fuzzier and fuzzier and prone to mission creep unless citizens of democratic countries demand otherwise.
Our Global Voices Pacific Rim Roundup today links (via Asiapundit) to the blog Riding Sun (written by a New Yorker living in Tokyo), who reports that according to the Japanese news agency Kyodo News, the Japanese government has plans for some rather assertive internet filtering. Here's the story:
Gov't to promote software to filter 'harmful' Net info
Saturday, July 2, 2005 at 07:44 JST
TOKYO — The government said Thursday it will promote the use of filtering software against what it judges to be harmful information over the Internet, in a bid to prevent such incidents as group suicides and production of explosives via use of the Internet.
The government will map out procedures and criteria for police to ask Internet service providers to disclose information on the senders of messages on planned suicides. It will also try to educate people about the dangers of "harmful online information," and enhance consultation services about it, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said. (Kyodo News)
Riding Sun points out that the Japanese government is also on a campaign against online anonymity. He points to a recent NPR story discussing how internet anonymity is a nuisance to some in the U.S. federal government too.