Psiphon and Internet Censorship

March 26, 2007

Last week’s Chronicle* had a piece about Psiphon, an open-source tool that allows those in internet censored countries to securely connect to remote servers sans filters elsewhere, thus granting unfettered internet access! The article explores its academic use in heavily web censored countries like Iran, as well as profiles the University of Toronto Citizen Lab and its director, Ronald Deibert.

Deibert has a blog, which gives good background on the history of Psiphon, and which linked to this informative map of internet censored countries, via the Financial Times.

* Even though you literally can’t walk through an administrative office on any US campus , no matter how piddly, without tripping over three back issues of the Chronicle, you still have to check your library’s current journals and Lexis, because unless you yourself have a subscription, the joint is password locked down. How dumb!


Is her body too bootylicious for ya?

March 11, 2007


Thousands of libraries across the country are currently not circulating the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated with Beyoncè on the cover. Not because they are trying to shield their patrons from her hideous lace-front and “House of Damnitswrong” bikini, but because SI (published by Time Warner, Inc) refused to send the issue to many of its subscribers, primarly schools and public libraries. Their reasoning? They had received many complaints in the past from parents and teachers about the issue and decided to self-censor.  They have since realized this huge gaffe and are sending the issue to anyone who wants it. My question is, why after “years of complaints” did they decide to censor this particular issue?  And who at Time could’ve possibly thought this was a good idea?  The last thing we need are publishers determining what is too “controversial” for our delicate patrons.