This article was first published on Substratum
Internet censorship is a topic that is becoming relevant to more people than it has in the past. The internet makes information accessible to anyone with a connection to it—but what happens if someone else gets to control what you can and can’t see on the internet?
Sometimes, the intent behind censorship is benign, such as parents wanting to protect their children from inappropriate content. But other times, it can be an authoritarian attempt to control what a nation is allowed and not allowed to know.
In basic terms, internet censorship is about restricting what information is available to people online. In the internet’s early days, the user community monitored what happened instead of governments, organizations, and companies. However, the latter entity–governments–have decided that community management is not sufficient, which unfortunately has a number of frightening consequences. So how can the public keep internet-based information uncensored?
A variety of tools exist to circumvent censorship, but they each have their shortcomings. One of the most promising potential solutions is blockchain technology. A blockchain is a decentralized network that makes information more transparent than it was capable of being in the past—and while many people might think of Bitcoin when they hear the word blockchain, a more suitable application that you are likely to use in your day to day life looks more like Substratum.
How does Internet censorship work?
According to How Stuff Works, many hardware and software applications designed to censor the internet rely on “web filters.” These filters then use two primary techniques to prevent people from accessing content: keyword blocking and blacklists. The former scans and analyzes a webpage when an internet user attempts to visit it and prohibits access if it dubs the page inappropriate due to the keywords within. The latter bans websites based ...
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