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Re: DON'T Nuke Singapore Back into the Stone Age

I agree with what you say, and that's exactly why all this thread is out
of focus. Blocking anything on the net is impossible, we know it and, I'm
sure, the Singapore government knows it as well. The filtering proxies
they deployed, however, allow them to show that they are "doing something" 
and get continued support from the socially conservative constituency; the
net will route around, and life will go on.  If the purpose of those
measures had been political censorship, the SG government would have
banned crypto or simply restricted Internet access, as they have done with
mass media like satellite TV. Hovever, they on one hand know that Internet
is strategic to the country's future development, and on the other hand
that its use is limited to a well-educated elite not likely to fall prey
of simplistic propaganda as tabloid readers would be, and that would be
able to find sources of free information anyway: hence, the green light.

Let's not fool ourselves: social mores are determined by economic
development, which in turn is driven by technology and free markets.
Political activism may sometimes help, but it's largely overrated (and in
some cases it may backfire). When a government pursues free market and
technological advancement, time is on freedom's side.


On Mon, 2 Sep 1996, Duncan Frissell wrote:

> At 07:06 AM 9/2/96 +0800, James Seng wrote:
> >that). I have a long argument with this person, telling him that despite
> >what they have done, i could still access to those stuff which they ban.
> >his reasoning is "how many people can do it? 10%? 5%? That's fine with us.
> >If the people really wans it, they can get it". 
> The flaw with this view is that it is no harder to deploy software that
> defeats Singapore's proxy than it is to establish a tcp/ip connection in the
> first place.  For civilians (such as myself) establishing a tcp/ip
> connection is as hard or as easy as establishing an encrypted tcp/ip tunnel
> to defeat government control efforts.  For both these tasks, I am dependent
> on software writers who know more than I do.  Since the software of the Net
> is written by people not governments, the governments will find it hard to
> hold "free users" down to a 5% or 10% figure.  The Net is nothing more than
> the software that it runs on and we (not governments) write the software.
> In addition, we are not imposing our ideology on Singapore.  If Singapore
> changes, it will be because an encounter with the realities of the free flow
> of information changes it.