Iraq

An editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains it best by pointing out that the Internet began as a U.S. government project -- funded by the U.S. military, in the form of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.(Newman, p. C3) This means two things to those countries opposing the Internet:

  1. It was designed to never be censored. When the Internet sees an attempt at censorship, it sees it as a glitch in the system and reroutes itself.
  2. This makes countries fear that it is the United States' attempt to infiltrate every nation in the world.
In the Columbus Dispatch Mike Harden cited to the article in the Al-Jumhuriya, an Iraqi newspaper seen as Saddam Hussein's mouthpiece, that alerted Iraqis that the Internet is "'one of the American means to enter every house in the world. They want to become the only source for controlling human beings in the new electronic age.'"(Harden p. I1)

The newspaper went on to say that because of this, it is almost seen as the cry in the New World Information Order that the Internet will be "'the end of civilizations, cultures, interests and ethics.'"(Harden p. I1) This is because everyone will be infiltrated with America's culture.

Yet, some Iraqis see this cry of fear by the government as unfounded and the Internet as essential in keeping in step with the world. An intellectual in Iraq, Abu Adel, wrote a letter to the editor saying:

How can we expect our companies to expand economically and compete regionally and internationally without access to the vital flow of information on the Internet? How can our universities possibly contribute to the information highway as a means of serving our political, economic, social and intellectual interests without access to the Internet?(Adel, web)

These logical points will go ignored by authoritarian countries until the cry is too loud or the country sees the need to compete internationally with those countries that do have access to the Internet.