In the United States, most people take the right to freedom of speech extremely seriously and are almost absolute in their determination to protect that freedom, even as it applies to the Internet. Thus, American governmental control of cyberspace has been relatively light. The governing bodies of other countries, however, such as those in the European Union and Asia, have taken the initiative to control information flow on the Internet. One of the most well known attempts at information control is the much-criticized "great firewall of China." More recently, European countries have been using similar systems, most notably site blacklists, to prevent the spread of information that their respective governments deem to be "harmful" or "unlawful."

Such actions have roused great debate regarding free speech in many countries. On one hand, governments seek to protect their citizens and shield them from hate speech, slander, and the likes of child pornography. On the other hand, netizens fight for their right to free speech and unregulated access to information on the web. Laws such as the Telecoms Reform Package have been passed to allow censorship by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), limiting freedom of speech. The content that ISPs decide to block, however, are arguably harmful to society, and it is for this reason that the government passed such laws in the first place. In this report, we will explore the methods that different government bodies use to censor Internet content and examine the consequences of such amendments to free speech, including effects on the vast amounts of information dispersed online and reactions from the hundreds of millions of Internet users.