Battling for Control of Internet in Age of Google, Baidu, and Facebook

Primary tabs

Panel Conversation moderated by Michael Best, "Battling for Control of the Internet in the Age of Google, Baidu, and Facebook".  Afterwards, a presentation, "Tor and the Censorship Arms Race: Lessons Learned" ~ Roger Dingledine Project Leader, The Tor Project.

For the past decade, the Internet has seen many battles for control between authoritarian states and the dissidents who oppose them. We've often focused our attention on state-level technical control, such as China's "Great Firewall," but recent events remind us that private companies can also restrict information flows, on their own or in response to indirect government pressure, even in "free" regimes.

Amazon recently kicked WikiLeaks off its cloud servers. After public criticism from Sen. Lieberman, the company declared that the posting of leaked U.S. State Department cables violated the its terms of service. YouTube and Facebook needed to be asked to reinstate videos of violence that were core to protest activity in Tunisia. Google shut down operation of its search engine in China last year because it refused to continue to censor search results on behalf of the Chinese government, but Baidu, the much more popular Chinese alternative to Google, continues to censor its search results. Meanwhile copyright takedowns under US law pull results out of Google searches worldwide.

What are the proper technical, political, and social responses to the increasing role of private companies in moderating political battles for control of the Internet? What tools can individuals use to maintain free expression in the face of these control points?


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Jene Gladstone
  • Created: 01/31/2011
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

Target Audience