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Global Web Censoring Made in the U.S.A.

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 28 2011

Tech developed by American companies to filter, track, and block online content is being called into service by repressive regimes, reports Paul Sonne and Steve Stecklow of the Wall Street Journal, drawing on a new report from the Open Net Initiative called "West Censoring East: The Use of Western Technologies by Middle East Censors." The money quote comes to us from Harvard's Jonathan Zittrain: "They could build into the software something that signals and, in fact, sends back to them exactly what kind of filtering is taking place... There's no rocket science there, it's just their customer wouldn't like it." Bonus: Report co-author Jillian York explains how one of those tools, Websense, came to classify her personal blog as pornography.