China Defends Right to Police Internet
February 16, 2006 6:44 PM
comment(s) - last by
Now that the US government is getting involved, it has some people wondering why any government is involved in the first place
Everyone has something to say about privacy issues and whether or not Yahoo and Google should censor material for the Chinese government. Earlier today, Chinese officials argued that it has the
right to police the Internet
in any way that it deems appropriate for the citizens of China. This statement comes a day after four companies spoke in front of Congress on charges that blame the companies for helping limit free speech in return for market access.
Yahoo, Google, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft
were recently grilled at a congressional hearing
about human-rights violations and censorship because of various decisions made by each company. It has been well known that China is notorious for censoring and arresting users that don't abide by the strict rules that the government has put in place. Specifically, Google is under fire from critics for bowing down and agreeing to censor content so the company is allowed to do business in China. Microsoft is blamed for removing a blog that was too critical of the government. Yahoo allegedly gave information to the government which led to a crackdown on Chinese citizens and journalists.
With some analysts speculating that the number of Internet search users in China may increase from 100 million to 187 million people by 2007, we should become acclimated to the possibility that more companies will do whatever the Chinese government wishes in return for open market access.
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RE: Too many people just don't understand....
2/19/2006 12:01:03 PM
There is one specific reason for this inquiry: censorship. Other companies don't do that so there is no "equal pressure" to apply. The government won't be cracking down on just google if they decide to do something, they will simply make a law banning the export of censorsing technologies and services to oppressive governments. How a law like that would be worded, I don't know.
RE: Too many people just don't understand....
2/19/2006 3:51:40 PM
Other companies *have* been doing the same thing Google has where China is concerned. Google just happened to be put into the limelight because of its refusal to comply with US demands in the earlier weeks.
In the West, China is understood to be:
a) an evil Communist regime
b) a country that consistently engages in human rights violations
c) a government that actively controls the thoughts of its citizens without regard for their freedom of expression and other "inalienable rights"
The first is entirely false. It is a socialist nation with a tendency toward nationalism.
The fact regarding the second is that human rights violations have far decreased since the turnover of power to the younger government officials in the mid-90's. Nowadays, violent incidents occur on a frequency that is _less_ than what is caused by the United States.
The third is true. However, the government *does* in fact care for its people and grants them an enormous amount of aid. They are *not* the oppressed populace that the West paints them to be.
I would suggest that when reporting is done on China in the media, there are agendas being executed that are not so noble as ensuring the spread of democracy around the globe. I would also suggest that those expatriot Chinese who do not view China in a favorable light are judging China according to the ideologies they have internalized since leaving the country.
The Chinese Communist Party is not composed of "nice" people. They have committed acts that could be truly considered horrific against their own nation, slaughtering innocents in ways that would make those Japanese soldiers from the Nanking Massacre squirm; they have killed more Chinese than the Japanese have. Some of them are corrupt, and care only for their own benefit.
This, however, does not mean that the Chinese Communist Party as it currently exists is not predominantly interested in the improvement of the nation. The Chinese people have gained much from their efforts, and will continue to do so in the next decade. It doesn't need American imperialism to improve it right now, and it never shall. It has sufferred long enough from Westerners that believe that have the right to impose their views and interests -- the Opium War should never happen again.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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