Archive for the ‘Uzbekistan’ Category


April 1, 2007

Whether in China or Chicago, we’re now living in a world where access to information is partly controlled by private corporations, whose wish to “comply with local regulation” may involve many layers of hidden decision-making about what we can see, read and hear. Lack of transparency in the process by which search results are produced means that we don’t tend to see messages saying “You have been banned by the government from visiting this site”, or “Someone will sue us if we let you see this.” Instead we get “host not found” or no error message at all, just a timed-out connection or a crash we might attribute to some other cause. This is invisible censorship, hard to detect, hard to prove. In Uzbekistan, the government uses a technique called DNS hijacking to divert users from banned sites to so-called “modified mirrors”, fake versions similar to the originals in most respects, but containing misinformation or black propaganda. Without some technical knowledge, the substitution is hard to spot.,,2046545,00.html