One of the major barriers to information communication is governmental censorship. In this assignment you will explore the censorship activities of a country of your choice. You will prepare a brief report of your findings. Then you will share your findings with your colleagues in class. When everyone has shared there will be a class discussion on what was learned from the reports.


Step One: Preliminary Readings

Before starting this assignment two readings will help prepare you for the task.

First, read the short piece on defining censorship available on the PBS Culture Shock site: Definitions of Censorship.

Second, read the article entitled "Authoritarianism vs. the Internet" by Daniel Calingaert. The article appeared in the journal Policy review and is available through the Academic Search Premier database. Go to the UHM Library Electronic Resources site. Type in Academic Search Premier and make sure that only Databases & Indexes is selected. Click on the Search button. Click on Academic Search Premier (you will need to do so again on the next screen). When requested enter your UH user id and password. Search for the article (doing an author search on the author's last name works well). When you get to the citation data for the article scroll down and click on the link to the .pdf file.

Step Two: Select a Country and Prepare Your Report

In this assignment you will select any country in the world other than China, France, or the United States (these are the subjects of group discussion topics). Prepare a short (2 double-spaced pages maximum) written report on digital censorship in the country you have chosen.

An excellent source of information for your report is the Freedom House report entitled Freedom on the Net: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. Follow the link given above. Scroll down to access country reports on Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Another informative source is the Reporters without Borders' "The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch" site. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and use the pull-down menu under Internet Enemies to select the country you are interested in.

Step Three: Share Your Findings with Your Colleagues

Share your findings with your colleagues in the class. If you wish to do so a few Powerpoint slides would help the class visualize any statistics you may wish to present. Be sure to provide a bit of background about the country first. You can get statistics about geography, population, and government from the CIA World Factbook. Your presentation should be at maximum 10 minutes.

After all reports have been given there will be a class discussion on the findings presented.

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