“The Green Dam Phenomenon: Governments everywhere are treading on Web freedoms”

If, in the early nineties, the governments of the world had realized just how much power the Internet would offer their citizens, I have little doubt that it would have been quietly strangled in its cradle. Since they missed that opportunity, they’re trying to censor it instead — even in democratic countries that should know better, like Britain and Australia. Fortunately, enough people are resisting their efforts that I doubt many of them will go through.

Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.
— Justice Louis Brandeis, Other People’s Money, and How the Bankers Use It, 1933.


  1. I emailed you about the Chinese “Green Dam” being reversed, China decided not to go through with it, for the time being. I was surprised, frankly, I didn’t expect that China would care considering how much censorship they do already…

  2. Nah, China doesn’t care about that too much, and if they did, they are surely capable of writing something or hiring a firm to do it for them. (They pay a lot to major western corporations for their “great firewall of China” already.)

  3. The whole point to Green Dam was that it was home-grown Chinese software, so they could trust it. Would you want your dictatorial regime’s first-line censorship system to be dependent on software designed and built in a democracy?

  4. Given the enormous history of Chinese knockoffs, maybe that counts as home-grown there. 😉

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