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The Internet can be used for both sharing and suppression of information. In its most free form, it allows users to anonymously communicate, by sharing their opinions and media content over chat rooms, blogs, video casts, and podcasts, and through other channels. In its least free form, it allows governments to spy on communications and Internet activity, geolocate users, breach their devices, censor or alter communications, and arrest users for their online activities. This entry discusses the history of Internet governance, China’s push for a leadership role in Internet governance, and the balance of laws and rights online.

Internet governance involves the development and implementation of shared norms and rules regarding online activity by governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations. It is often discussed ...

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