Seth Finkelstein, Consulting Programmer, SethF.com
The Internet is fundamentally a mechanism for communication. By lowering the costs of copying and distributing information, it created a revolution in electronic speech. That in turn led to a host of issues stemming from the new methods of reaching an audience. Suddenly, old equilibriums and economics between speaker and listener were disrupted. One famous aphorism stated, “The Net interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it.” This was then rebutted by the question, “What if censorship is in the router?”
The conflict between social and technological constraints is a key part of the evolution of electronic speech. It is conceivable that speakers and listeners could route around censorship laws by using various electronic networks. However, a router, a device that connects different networks (facilitating speech), may contain within it technological censorship programs that do not permit certain types of speech to either be made or received. ...