In May 2012, I published a series of three articles at thechampioncommunity.com that examines the litany of terms used to describe actions that result in taking Internet content offline. These are now available at my blog.
Shutdowns, Suspensions, & Seizures… Oh, My! sets the stage and objectives for the series. It identifies circumstances where private actors, law enforcement agents, or nation states take actions to prevent user access to content or remove content entirely. I explain how preventing access to or removing content is often accomplished using the same technical measures, but it's the reason or actor performing the action that creates controversy.
Preventing Access or Removing Content: Laser, Scalpel, or Saw? explains technical measures that security-minded organizations use to block access or remove content, e.g., blocking or removing URLs or suspending domains. It also discusses the unintended consequences when these measures are included in legal orders to remove or control content hosted on publicly accessible servers. Part II begins to explain why it is important to consider whether and how your actions affect users outside your administrative scope before you take such actions.
A Chain Saw is a Poor Choice for Surgery (& Blocking Content) looks at the very visible and controversial applications of blocking and suspension measures, i.e., when these are used in an attempt to prevent illegal consumption of protected content, or to enforce censorship, or to restrict freedom of expression. Part III calls attention to the dangers of trying to take what works well in a bounded and contained environment and apply it without consideration of how the underlying technologies like routing and DNS work.
Enjoy and please add to the comment stream!