Governments grapple with spread of Internet: "the connection was reset"
It’s always fascinating to take a look at what’s going on beyond your own country’s borders. Here in the U.S. we have a tendency to not do that enough, I think.
No doubt the Internet is having a profound impact on countries around the world, and it’s interesting to look at how non-Western governments are reacting to tremendous shifts in the ability of people to communicate, collaborate, and organize with one another.
As you might imagine, the reaction isn’t always glorious and benign on behalf of some governments. Just over the last few days, we see that Turkey blocked a website that insulted Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, “the founder of modern Turkey,” and Indonesia has enacted a law that will restrict access to “pornographic and violent sites” under the guise of a scarily-termed “information bill.” And not surprisingly in Bhutan, a country that saw the introduction of both television and the Internet only nine years ago, access to “foreign influences” is limited by the current government.
There are signs though that countries and nations and cultures â€“ just like here in the U.S. and in Europe â€“ are grappling with how best to deal with this new era. And it’s not all negative news.
China, a country well known for throwing down the hammer on journalists and publications that it doesn’t like, has opened up access to BBC News online after years of blocking its access. Hilariously, the Chinese government denied both the blocking and unblocking, noting that the “connection was reset.”
I can’t help seeing governmental intervention in how the Internet is accessed and used as a rearguard action, at least in the grand scheme of things.