Big Brother? US linked to new wave of censorship, surveillance on web
By John R. Quain
February 27, 2013
Even the most open, democratic governments have sought laws and new forms of surveillance that many see as a new wave of censorship — and that includes the United States.
The U.S. government asked Google for data on its users more than 31,000 times in 2012 alone, for example. And the government rarely obtained a search warrant first, Google recently revealed; in nearly all cases, the company ended up turning over at least some data.
Some argue that heightened surveillance, restrictions on Internet freedom and even censorship are necessary to protect intellectual property rights, prevent cyberespionage, fight child pornography, and protect national interests such as nuclear power plants from hackers. And here the U.S. is far from alone.
“A number of democratic states have considered or implemented various restrictions in response to the potential legal, economic, and security challenges raised by new media,” notes the Freedom House report “Freedom on the Net 2012.”