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Internet under threat? The politics of online censorship in the Pacific Islands

Kant, Romitesh and Titifanue, Jason and Tarai, Jope V. and Glen, Finau (2018) Internet under threat? The politics of online censorship in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Journalism Review, 24 (2). pp. 64-83. ISSN 1023-9499

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    Abstract

    In the Pacific, there have been disconcerting news releases of governments making attempts at censoring the internet, a move seen to point towards silencing dissenting views on popular online forums. The conflicting trends between the new political forum ushered in by the new media on the one hand, and the restrictive mode of state censorship on the other hand, pose severe challenges to the broader framework of rights and freedom of expressions. This article aims to examine the regulatory approaches being developed and proposed in response to the emergence of new media in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). This article reviews two ways in which Pacific Island governments are attempting to regulate the internet, firstly through the development of legislation to prosecute cybercriminals, and secondly through the banning of specific internet sites, most notably Facebook. Despite the disparities in internet penetration levels, the article reveals that nearly all countries in the Pacific are increasingly regulating or are moving towards regulating the internet. The justifications for internet regulation and censorship are primarily predicated around the rhetoric of protecting its citizens from the adverse effects of the Internet. However, these regulations seem to be a response to Pacific Island governments’ fears of growing criticism and political dissent on social media platforms.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    K Law > K Law (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
    Depositing User: Jason Titifanue
    Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 15:17
    Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 15:17
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11271
    UNSPECIFIED

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