New study encourages broadcasters to work together to battle censorship

The Canada Center for Global Security Studies, a University of Toronto organization that focuses on Internet security, as well as Citizen Lab and the Munk School of Global Affairs, have joint-released a report titled Casting a Wider Net: Lessons Learned in Delivering BBC Content on the Censored Internet.

The report delves into the fact that Internet censorship is alive and well, and probably a lot more effective that the average person suspects. 

As the world shifts more of it’s broadcasting efforts to on-line delivery, there is a developing “cat and mouse” game between the repressive states, such as China and Iran, and the world’s media.

The report compares the situation to the propaganda war fought in the late 1930s in Germany when it was illegal to listen to foreign radio broadcasts, and even the radios themselves were modified so they would not receive foreign signals. 

A similar game was afoot during the cold war as Russian authorities attempted to jam outside radio signals from reaching their citizens. 

In these cases it was Western Governments who supplied resources to help balance the scales. For example the US installed powerful radio broadcast towers during the cold war, ringing the Soviet Union in order to overpower the signal jammers. 

In the modern world the west as a political force is far less likely to take action. Instead the much of the responsibility for keeping the flow of ideas and news will fall to the traditional media. 

In their recommendations the report’s authors encourage Broadcasters to invest in new media delivery systems as they come online (such as Twitter). Be ready to adapt to present a constantly shifting challenge to the censors. And to form partnerships with others who desire a more open and free Internet.