The battle for the internet: The Guardian

Over the next seven days, the Guardian is running a very interesting web series that will "tak[e] stock of the new battlegrounds for the internet."  Each day has a different theme, with "the militarisation of cyberspace," "the new walled gardens," "IP wars," "civilising the web," "the open resistance," and "the end of privacy," on the horizon. 

Today's (4/15) theme was "the new cold war," and the Guardian posted a range of articles exploring how governments have censored the internet.  I've posted those articles below with a quick synopsis of each.  Each article goes into some great depth that my synopsis cannot do justice for.  I really recommend checking out each article, they're very interesting! 

You can find the link to the Guardian's series homepage here.


Ian Katz wrote the first Guardian article titled Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin.  The article explored Sergey Brin's (the co-founder of Google) belief that the freedom of the internet is under attack from the use of walled gardens like Facebook and Apple, government censorship of the internet, and the entertainment industry's crusade against piracy. 


Oliver Burkeman wrote the second Guardian article titled Inside Washington's high risk mission to beat web censors.  The article considered the efforts of Commotion Wireless, a U.S. State Department funded pro-democracy group created to undermine internet censorship.  The debate over the internet's true nature really came out in the article: should the internet be open and subject to chaos, or controlled and subject to government policing?


Eesti Keel wrote the third Guardian article which was titled How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan.  The article explored how the internet has literally infused every facet of the Estonian lifestyle.  In fact, you could walk 100 miles throughout Estonia and never lose your internet connection!  The article went on to document how the Estonians have a physical card that gives them ability to vote, transfer money, and access government documentation (NSTIC, anyone?). 

A fascinating article on how the internet can change a society . . . I highly recommend this one!


Miriam Elder wrote the fourth Guardian article titled Nervous Kremlin seeks to purge Russia's internet of 'western' influences.  The article looked at how Russian pro-democracy groups and Russian youth have grown up with the internet, and thus, would likely protest any attempt at government censorship.  However, with Vladimir Putin soon to be back in power, there's fear that an internet crackdown is on the horizon.


Ai Weiwei wrote the fifth Guardian article titled China's censorship can never defeat the internet.  The article gave an interesting look at the Chinese government's censorship of its internet.  Notably, the author believes that the proliferation of Chinese microblogs and other modes of internet expression means that the Chinese people have begun to feel the breeze of free speech.  Moreover, government censorship can't coexist with the Chinese government's desire to make a strong and creative Chinese culture.

Along the same lines, Tania Branigan wrote the sixth Guardian article titled China's censors tested by microbloogers who keep one step ahead of state media.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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