recent paper written by Daniel Castro of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and promoted by the MPAA on Capitol Hill argues in favor of DNS filtering to block access to copyright-infringing sites.  In an effort to argue the effectiveness of DNS filtering, Castro cites research from Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society that suggests that “no more than 3 percent of Internet users in countries that engage in substantial filtering use circumvention tools.”

What is worth noting here is that the countries cited in the Berkman Center paper—China, Iran, the UAE, Armenia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Burma, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam— are all countries that engage in pervasive censorship of the Internet.  Therefore, Castro is basically saying that since DNS filtering works for repressive regimes, it can work in the United States too!

It is also worth noting that the US Department of State has put significant resources into more than a dozen circumvention tools over the past few years.  In other words, those same tools that Castro hopes American citizens won’t use to access pirated content are in fact funded by the US government.

Source: December 19, 2011, This Week in Internet Censorship: DRC, Kazakhstan, and pro-SOPA ‘research,‘