More and more states try to scan and filter internet traffic. To find out who filters what, a number of university-related institutes founded OpenNet. The OpenNet Initiative’s mission is “to investigate and challenge state filtration and surveillance practices”.
The “about” section reads like a who is who of the world of internet politics:
- Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto
- Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
- Advanced Network Research Group at the Cambridge Security Programme at Cambridge University
- Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford
As far as I’m concerned, that pretty much validates the info available on OpenNet’s website. What’s really cool, though, is the interactive Internet Filtering Map they put up. With a click, you can see how any country filters their internet traffic, what kind of contents are filtered and who decides what gets filtered out. In case you’d like to get some more background info, there’s also a resources section for every country.
U.S.: “Some filtering but not neccessarily at the national level (e.g. Schools/Libraries), temporary/events based filtering, and/or a heavily regulated media environment.”
Germany: “Major search engines in Germany, including Google, Lycos Europe, MSN Deutschland, AOL Deutschland, Yahoo, T-Online and t-info, have subscribed to the “Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia Service Providers.” Subscribing companies filter web sites based on a list created by Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons.”[Link to OpenNet Initiative Internet Filtering Map]