Access Controlled. The Shaping of Power, Rights and Rule in Cyberspace

Ronald J. Deibert, John G. Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, Jonathan Zittrain

Published by

MIT Press

ISBN

978-0-262-51435-4

RRP

£18.95

Reviewed by

Siraj A. Shaikh MBCS CITP

Score

6 out of 10

Access ControlledThis is a follow-up from the authors’ earlier book on the subject. It is part of a joint international initiative to monitor for censorship on the internet and all that goes along with it.

The weight of the team behind the effort and the rigorous nature of investigation make this a very attractive proposition for those who are interested in legal, technical, social or political aspect of modern censorship.

The book is divided into two general sections. The first one is a collection of essays, notable of which are developments in legal and technical mechanisms for access control and the case of Russia to give it a context. I do find some of the ideas in other chapters being repeated from the first book, but writers justify them with more authority and evidence.

The second part of the book is country profiles, covering almost every part of the sphere. I would encourage the readers to look at the profiles for the UK and North America, as they shatter some of our perceptions of freedom of expression and democracy (unfortunately!)

Rather underrated, I also find the glossary towards the end of the book helpful. It offers short and precise definitions for terms, which I find to be effective.

While individual essays offer relevant insights, and those interested would find them valuable, only parts of this book are recommended otherwise for wider general readership.

Further Information: MIT Press

September 2010