Internet Censorship: An Integrative Review of Technologies Employed to Limit Access to the Internet, Monitor User Actions, and their Effects on Culture
School of Business
Business: Management Information Systems
Internet Censorship, Circumvention Technologies, China, Russia, Iran, BGP Hijacking, DNS Poisoning, TCP RST Attacks
Management Information Systems
Hyland, Joe, "Internet Censorship: An Integrative Review of Technologies Employed to Limit Access to the Internet, Monitor User Actions, and their Effects on Culture" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 997.
The following conducts an integrative review of the current state of Internet Censorship in China, Iran, and Russia, highlights common circumvention technologies (CTs), and analyzes the effects Internet Censorship has on cultures. The author spends a large majority of the paper delineating China’s Internet infrastructure and prevalent Internet Censorship Technologies/Techniques (ICTs), paying particular attention to how the ICTs function at a technical level. The author further analyzes the state of Internet Censorship in both Iran and Russia from a broader perspective to give a better understanding of Internet Censorship around the globe. The author also highlights specific CTs, explaining how they function at a technical level. Findings indicate that among all three nation-states, state control of Internet Service Providers is the backbone of Internet Censorship. Specifically, within China, it is discovered that the infrastructure functions as an Intranet, thereby creating a closed system. Further, BGP Hijacking, DNS Poisoning, and TCP RST attacks are analyzed to understand their use-case within China. It is found that Iran functions much like a weaker version of China in regards to ICTs, with the state seemingly using the ICT of Bandwidth Throttling rather consistently. Russia’s approach to Internet censorship, in stark contrast to Iran and China, is found to rely mostly on the legislative system and fear to implement censorship, though their technical level of ICT implementation grows daily. TOR, VPNs, and Proxy Servers are all analyzed and found to be robust CTs. Drawing primarily from the examples given throughout the paper, the author highlights the various effects of Internet Censorship on culture – noting that at its core, Internet Censorship destroys democracy.