Cyber wars

London (March 23, 2010) — In the new issue of Index on Censorship, ‘Brave New Words’, leading internet experts Ron Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski call for a new approach to tackling censorship online.

As cyberspace has become the arena for political activism, governments are growing more sophisticated in controlling free expression online — from surveillance to filtering. And it’s now becoming harder than ever for human rights activists to outwit the authorities. In their article ‘Cyber wars’, Deibert and Rohozinski call for a ‘paradigm shift’ and ‘new techniques’ to confront the new challenges to free speech.

Deibert and Rohozinski predict that censorship and surveillance will fall increasingly into the hands of private companies and warn that governments are now openly considering using computer network attacks as part of standard military doctrine:

“President Obama’s cyber security review may have unwittingly set off a security spiral dilemma with its official acknowledgment that the United States has such capabilities at its disposal — a decision that may come back to haunt the information-dependent country when other actors follow suit.”

Targeted espionage is another worrying new development for companies and governments ? and Google’s response to the attack on its infrastructure in January from China will have significant repercussions for western companies that do business with authoritarian regimes.

The new issue of Index on Censorship, now published by SAGE, ‘Brave New Words: is technology the saviour of free speech?’ examines how technology has transformed the business of censorship at the same time as revolutionising freedom of expression. Rebecca MacKinnon talks to Google about the fallout from China; Gus Hosein calls on governments to take privacy more seriously; and Wen Yunchao reveals the art of censorship in China.

Cyber wars by Ron Deibert & Rafal Rohozinski is published on 24 Mar 2010 in Brave New Words ? the latest issue of Index on Censorship (Vol.29 No.1 2010). A free copy of the article will be available for a limited period from http://www.indexoncensorship.org/magazine/current-edition/.

Launched in 1972, Index on Censorship is the only magazine devoted to protecting and promoting free expression. International in outlook, outspoken in comment, and publishing some of the world’s finest writers, Index exposes stories that are suppressed, publishes banned writing, initiates debate and gives breadth to news that has often been “dumbed down” in the world’s media.

Recent issues have tackled the debates on obscenity and defamation, free speech in China, and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, with contributions from Nadine Gordimer, Jonathan Dimbleby, A.C. Grayling, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Ivan Klima, Anthony Julius and Martin Rowson among others. www.indexoncensorship.org

Index on Censorship is published by SAGE from 2010. With a variety of new purchasing options for libraries and individuals, access to the magazine has never been easier. For a full list of purchasing options visit www.indexoncensorship.org/subscribe

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. For 45 years, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com

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