Tangled in a web of regulation on the net

October 28, 2005

The Times Higher examines how some countries restrict freedom on the internet

Academics in most countries take the web and unfettered e-mail access for granted. They exchange ideas and information, freely interspersed with personal opinions, across institutional and national boundaries. And the internet's vast array of information is a natural habitat they are free to explore.

But such freedom is envied by academics and students in states where the authorities frown on free expression and are increasingly able to monitor and regulate access to e-mail, the web and mobile phones.

In these countries, academics' ability to communicate with colleagues elsewhere in the world is a clear inhibition of their academic freedom.

Natalie Nicora of the Network for Education and Academic Rights based at London South Bank University said: "Internet use has grown and has enhanced access and circulation of information in a way unthinkable a decade ago.

"But governments in some countries are continuing to control, and deny, access to the internet. The lack of internet freedom in these states reflects the attitude that governments have towards academic freedom.

Denying scholars and students access to the internet, or censoring it, curtails the circulation of information, contacts and knowledge that is the foundation of what we have to come to understand as academic freedom."

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns