chapter  23
14 Pages

The geopolitics of internet control: censorship, sovereignty, and cyberspace

ByRonald J. Deibert

In early 2007, the online mapping service Google Earth provided a feature on the ongoing political crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. Not long afterwards, however, an aid worker based inside Sudan reported not being able to properly load the map, receiving an error message in his browser stating “This product is not available in your country.” Upon further inspection, the source of the inaccessibility was Google itself-filtering access to its own services based on the “geolocation” of the computer’s IP address making the request. Google was not permitting IP addresses based within Sudan from connecting to its service in order to comply with U.S. export restrictions against the sale or export of informational products to the country (Geens, 2007).