Over at the New York Times “Room for Debate” blog, I discuss whether Google can help defeat Chinese censorship:
Google can also help by embedding privacy-preserving and censorship- circumventing technologies more deeply into its existing products. Its recent decision to encrypt GMail access by default is a good example. Google might consider bundling circumvention software like Tor with its “Google Pack” of desktop software. The more ubiquitous such software becomes, the harder it will be for the Chinese government to distinguish innocuous uses of the technology from subversive ones.
Still, there will never be a purely technological solution to censorship because censorship is not primarily a technological project. No software can protect a Chinese citizen from the knock on his door when he’s caught using circumvention software. Nor can any software allow him to publish criticisms of the government without fear of reprisal.
Read the rest of my contribution, and the contributions of Jonathan Zittrain, Steven Bellovin, and others, here.