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Blogs of my Classmates

Hello everyone,

I would like to recommend few blogs of my classmates which I find very interesting and full of very useful information.

First blog I would recommend to read is the blog by Martina Slozilova. The main topic of this blog is the portrayal of Muslims and Islam in media. This topic is very important nowadays when we deal with dangerous terrorist attacks which are generally connected with Muslims. Martina’s blog shows how Media generalize the Muslims and shows them all as terrorists. We have to deal with this phenomenon and try to see all religion as equal. If you are interested in this topic, go to Martina’s blog: http://muslimedia-mls.blogspot.com/.  Martina underlines one important fact- that media when talking about terrorism always connect it with Muslims. That makes people think that Muslims are terrorists without exception. That is not right and now it is on us. We have to think about that and shape our own opinions.

The other blog I would recommend to visit is the blog by Eva Slajsova. This blog is about the portrayal of beauty in media. In her blog, Eva shows the negative as well as positive sides of beauty portrayed in media. I believe we all are somehow influenced by the adverts which influence our feelings of our bodies. For example, Eva’s blog show the ad campaign made by DOVE company which I find very interesting and inspiring. If you are interested in this topic, I recommend you to visit this blog: http://evas-unyp.blogspot.com/

I would also recommend you to read the Vivienne’s blog. Her blog touched me a lot mainly because it gave me lot of new information. If you are interested in buzz marketing and advertising, go to visit her blog. In one post, she also discuss if the advertising to children should be band or not. What do  you think? Do you want to know more about this issue?  Visit Vivienne’s blog on: http://vivianast.wordpress.com/

If you are interested in military and in what is the portrayal of military in media, I would recommend you to visit the blog by Jan Kotouc. His blog concerns about how media were connected with military in past and how is the situation today. One post also concentrate on military in video games which is also very interesting. What do you think? Can the military theme of video games influence our view on war and particular conflicts? You are not sure? Then visit Jan’s blog where you will find interesting articles on: http://med-mil.blogspot.com/

The last but not less interesting blog which I would recommend to visit is the blog by Pete Stejskal. He deals with the topic of the death of print media. Are you afraid of that? Do you prefer printed press rather that news on the internet? Go to visit Pete’s blog. This blog will serve you useful information about current situation of magazines and newspapers and try to guess how could their future look like. For visiting Pete’s blog go on: http://pete-stejskal.blogspot.com/

I hope you will enjoy reading the blogs of my classmates at least like me!

 Barbora Chromeckova

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Introduction

Hallo everyone, Welcome to my Blog!

My name is Barbora Chromečková, I am 21 years old student from the Czech Republic and I study at the University of New York in Prague. This blog was made for my Media and Society class as a Media Literacy Project and I hope everybody enjoys reading my postings.

The topic of my blog is the Internet Content Regulation. I find this topic very interesting and important nowadays when the internet network is enlarging and having more and more significant influence on the society. Thanks to its influence, the totalitarian countries decide to establish the Internet censorship to “protect” its citizens from foreign news and that threatens their human rights. On the other hand, some countries decide to protect the human rights by censoring the websites containing children pornography, or glorifying of Nazis which rapidly spreads through the Internet. However, both these reasons for censoring the content of the Internet meet with protests. People call for freedom of speech and expression and want to have unlimited access to the information.

The aim of this blog is to make you more familiar with the current situation in the world in the term of Internet censorship and recommend you few websites and interesting articles. I believe we live in a democratic world where the Internet censorship does not have its place. I hope you will shape your own opinion on this serious issue and come up with your comments.

Do remember! In democracy, each voice has its value!

Enjoy,

Barbora Chromečková

Picture source:

Supreme Court Strikes Down Internet Censorship Law. Earth Hope Net Work. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://earthhopenetwork.net/internet_censorship.jpg

EU deals with internet censorship in Iran

The European Union tries to cope with the Internet censorship as well as the Asian and American countries. In German, there is a censorship of web pages which glorifies Nazism, and in majority of European countries, the governments want to establish the censorship of websites containing children pornography. As we see, internet censorship occurs all around the world. However, the European Union is not acting only on its territory, but wants to show its solidarity to Iran citizens (Harrington, 2010).

Iran is blocking the official sites of BBC, CNN and the other foreign news websites to make its citizens do not hear the true about their own country. The blockage of facebook, youtube, independent blogs and news servers is the matter of course. The main issues why the European Union started to occupy by the internet censorship in Iran are the nuclear power program and the parliamentary elections from last year. The EU along with the USA found out that Iran has more than enough reserves of uranium. Iran was later accused that they are going to create the nuclear weapons. The other issue is that after the elections last year, the winning party started to censure the opposing party. They also blocked all websites criticizing the current government, and of course their reserves of uranium and the nuclear program. Simply said, the citizens of Iran are cut from the reality (Harrington, 2010).

In March this year, the European Union announced Iran has to immediately stop blocking the Internet, but Tehran did not agree. The declaration of the European Union does not say exactly what sanctions can the EU do against the Iran in term of mass communication but the EU came with the provisional solution. The EU is going to halt the export of some electronic and telecommunication equipment which can be used to manufacture the systems for blockage. “Restrictions and limitations on the use of new technologies have emerged as a key challenge to the respect for human rights in many parts of the world, undermining the potential the technologies have in promoting freedom of expression” (Phillips, 2010).

We can see that the internet censorship does not need to be necessarily used only for the religious and ideological reasons. In the age of nuclear power, the censorship can be much more dangerous than it can appear. If the citizens do not have access to independent and objective information, they can be easily tricked by their own government. I find this cause well underlying my topic of danger of internet regulation.

References:

Harrington, P. (2010). EU vows to act on Iranian censorship. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/eu-vows-to-act-on-iranian-censorship-20100323-qrje.html

Phillips, L. (2010). EUobserver / EU to move against Iran satellite, internet censorship. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://euobserver.com/871/29735

Picture Source:

Interview: Helping Iranians Beat Internet Censorship. Payvand, Iran News,. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.payvand.com/news/10/apr/1146.html

Google vs China

Internet censorship in China is an issues often discussed in last years and months. Some level of internet censorship occurs in majority of countries of the world yet and many internet companies try to deal with it. That happened in China, where the Internet Network Company Google refused to filter its search system. I find this cause of China well filling to my topic about the Internet censorship because here we can see how government’s internet regulation can result. We can also see that Internet Network Companies such as Google cope with the Internet censorship and try to fight against threating the human rights.

Few weeks ago, we could hear about a new cause of China with the Internet Company Google. The China’s restrictions on internet includes the blocking of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and also many foreign news sites and sites criticizing China’s government. China also bans the web pages with historical material illustrating the pro-democratic protests 20 years ago. For that reason, Google was asked to filter these sites in China and the Foreign Ministry of China also highly recommended to Google to abide by China’s laws if Google wants to do business there (Ho, 2010). That provokes big discussions all around the world and Google refused to filter its search system. From January 2010, Google threatened that the company will leave the country if China’s government will continue to call for censoring. Few days ago, Google came with solution and really left China. Google decided to move its China-based search system to Hong-Kong, the almost independent territory of China. That means if China citizens log on the China’s Google site, they will be automatically redirected to the Google in Hong-Kong. The Google search system in Hong-Kong is uncensored so Chine’s citizens can fully drive on benefits of the search system. China responded on the Google’s decision by accusing Google from the violating a written promise to filter its search service. The Chinese also fear that government will continue to ban the other Google’s applications such as Gmail or Google documents as a response to Google’s violating their laws (Ho, 2010).

We can only wait how this China-Google argument will continue, but we can be sure about one thing. Chinese government is bent to continue in censoring the Internet content and they well prepared for Google’s “pull-off”. The pro-government network companies in China are ready to replace Google and benefit from it.

References:

Ho, S. (2010). China Defends Its Internet Censorship Policies | Asia | English. News | English. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/China-Defends-Its-Internet-Censorship-Policies-88898007.html

Picture source:

China tagged with: Journalist. China Digital Times. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/journalists/

Video source:

Google to Pull Out of China?. YouTube- Broadcast Yourself. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPSZ604_OPI

Video source:

YouTube – Google China. (n.d.).YouTube- Broadcast Yourself. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-jkKFCxggY&feature=fvsr

Internet censorship in Europe

Internet censorship is spreading through the world. Everyday, we read the news about man who downloaded a video which was considered to be child pornography, or about an advert on cereals which was censured for its pornographic characteristics. This does not happen only in Chine or North Korea. In the article called “Internet Censorship Brussels Style”, published on Radio Netherlands Worldwide, we can read that it happens everyday in all Europe.  The article discusses the situation of today Europe and the growing tendency of governments to censor the content of the internet. Everybody will probably agree that children pornography should not be tolerated and should be punished as a serious crime. For that reason, some European countries decided to create so called Black List of web pages containing children pornography and they are going to filter them. The problem is that it brings a big danger of wider censorship. “Once infrastructure is in place, you can filter anything you want”, argue security officer Alex de Joode (Jong, 2010). The article warns of misusage of such law. In majority of countries where the filter was used, the censorship did not include only the children pornography. I recommend to read this article and to make your own opinion on this issue. “If EU home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmostrom has anything to do with it, filtering will soon be compulsory in the rest of the EU as well” (Jong, 2010).

References:

Jong, P. D. (2010). Internet censorship Brussels style. Radio Netherlands Worldwide | RNW . Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/internet-censorship-brussels-style

Picture source:

IMS_Blog | Web. (n.d.). norcimo.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.norcimo.com/blog/archives/web/

A new business opportunity: Internet censorship

As I have already mentioned, the Internet censorship in the world is growing up and especially in the totalitarian countries such as China, Vietnam, or Iran. The online international edition of CNN presented an article called “Cashing in on Internet Censorship” which deals with a new business activity: selling the freedom. In Chine and Iran, the internet censorship is growing much faster in last years than in the past. The censorship starts to be more and more aggressive which is supported by fact that in Iran, the government imposed a permanent ban on Gmail, which is the Google’s mail system. In China, the social networks like facebook, twitter, or video sharing portal youtube are blocked. In these countries, people are looking for tools which will allow them to access blocked information and some software companies decided to offer such a tool by using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other similar workarounds. The virtual private network (VPN) offers to users to break the barriers to blocked information. Such idea proved as a great business opportunity. People from countries where government is regulating the internet showed that they are looking for the service like that and they will to pay for it. The lawyers say these companies are not breaking the Chinese law because they are not acting on the territory Chine. Bill Bullock, VPN provider, said to CNN: “When we see new blocking techniques in China, we have to count them. It is an ongoing war” (Farrar, 2010). Over one million people in China are using the VPN’s system and the company grown 500 percent in the last year. “Our goal is not in anyway disrespect the government of China. We just happened to build a cool technology that people in China want to use,“ said Gorodyanskym, founder of the company (Farrar, 2010).

Just one more information at the end: One version of VPN is for free, then you pay about 16 US dollars per year (Farrar, 2010).

References:

China censorship software. (2010). Renovomedia. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from http://renovomedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/China-censorship-software.jpg

Farrar, L. (2010). Cashing in on Internet censorship. CNN.com International – Breaking, World, Business, Sports, Entertainment and Video News. Retrieved May 13, 2010, from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/18/internet.censorship.business/index.html

Essay: Free Speech on Internet

We can consider the communication through internet another form of communication of the modern age. On the opposite of traditional print media like newspapers and magazines, the speech through cyberspace is based on very different principles. Nowadays, the accessibility to internet is a common thing for majority of people from developed countries. Any person with the internet connection can become an author of internet discussion, blog, or whole website, and can reach the audience of thousand up to million people. That of course gives to these people a big power of influence. The other very important advantage of cyberspace is the anonymity which breaks down the barriers between the author and the potential audience.  In the traditional print media, the authors are not anonymous and they are responsible for what they write. The anonymity of authors in cyberspace also works as a shield which makes them more courageous in the content of the message. The cyberspace simply became a new form of highly accessible authorship which makes people to ask if the content of the internet should not be regulated. In addition, this question provokes many serious discussions about freedom of speech and expression.

Some countries have already instituted some kind of internet censorship. Internet censorship means the controlling of publishing and accessing the information on the internet (Coleman, 2010). There are many levels of internet censorship and it differs in each country in the world. The most heavily censored countries are the North Korea, China, Turkmenistan, or Cuba. In the North Korea, the media are one of the most controlled in the world. Even if the constitution provides for freedom of speech, the government does not allow exercising this right in practice. The general population has any internet access and also the North Korea itself has a minimal presence on the internet. No of its newspapers have their official websites, and only a few government elite are connected to the internet (Coleman, 2010).

The freedom of speech is also violated in many other countries like Vietnam or Uzbekistan, where the government uses the internet to strengthen its position and power. The Vietnamese government prevents access to websites which are critical of the government, political parties, and also prevents access to websites of international human right’s organization which criticize the acting of Vietnamese government (OpenNetInitiative).

It is also necessary to mention the countries with low level of censorship, and where the particular level of censorship protects the rights of children. As an example, I will use my home country- the Czech Republic. This year, the Czech mobile operator T-Mobile has officially announced that they started to block the web pages promoting the children pornography, prostitution, children trafficking, and pedophilia. The list of “censored” web pages was made accordingly to Internet Watch Foundation list which identifies the web pages containing photographs or videos of children (Coleman, 2010).

To conclude, internet as a new form of communication has its positive and also negative sides. I believe that majority of people who have an internet access could not imagine their lives without internet. Internet serves us much useful information we need in everyday life. On the other hand, internet content also often threatens the human rights by publishing the children pornography, or racist articles and whole web pages. Some people think that internet content should not be regulated because we should follow the human rights like freedom of speech and expression. I personally believe that we HAVE to protect the children, we HAVE to fight against racism, and we HAVE to deal with new movements such as neo-Nazism. However, I do not believe that the Internet content regulation is the right way to do so.

References:

Coleman, B. (2010). Internet Censorship Today: Censoring the Internet and Blocking Websites for Better or for Worse. Censorship. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://censorship.suite101.com/article.cfm/internet_censorship_today

Graph, T. N. (n.d.). The Nut Graph |  Internet censorship. The Nut Graph |  Making Sense of Politics & Pop Culture. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www.thenutgraph.com/six-words-on-internet-censorship

ONI Home Page | OpenNet Initiative. (n.d.). ONI Home Page | OpenNet Initiative. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://opennet.net/

Oppose internet censorship. (n.d.). Rainbow Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2010, from http://www.rainbowreporter.com/oppose-internet-censorship/