The latest issue of the journal “Index on Censorship” is dedicated to the topic of Internet censorship and features an article, “Shifting Borders”, by Ross Anderson and me. In it, we argue that it is wrong to claim that the Internet is free from barriers. They exist, and while often aligning with national boundaries they are hopefully lower.
However, the changing nature of the end-to-end principle is increasing the significance of barriers that stem from industry structure — which companies are hosting controversial information, where they do business, what markets do they compete in and what corporate partnerships are involved. The direction these take will have a significant impact on the scale of Internet censorship.
The rest of the journal is well worth reading, with authors including Xeni Jardin, David Weinberger and Jimmy Wales. I can especially recommend taking a look at Nart Villeneuve’s article, “Evasion Tactics”, also published on his blog. Unfortunately access to the full online version is restricted to subscribers.