Internet Censorship in China

Chinese Internet Media Censorship:

China tied with Cuba for first place for the least free internet in the world.  Why?  The Chinese Communist Party(CCP) realized early on that their rule would be jeopardized if full, unregulated internet access was given to the Chinese people.  Thus, the government of China began an era of open but guarded internet policy, allowing 2006-11-10-netcops1and encouraging economic, social, and entertainment uses of the internet, but discouraging objectionable news or dissident political information or stories.  This includes information regarding democracies, human rights, Tibetan and Taiwanese independence, or even religious ideas.  Those persons breaking past the wall are cyber criminals.

However, with the amount of information, ideas, and people on the internet, “internet [media] censorship”, as Bill Clinton stated, “is like trying to nail jell-o to a wall.”  It is nigh impossible, even with twelve government agencies working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to censor the internet and watch every user  like the government does every other source of media in China.  In addition, Chinese firewalls put up to guard against illegal international sites being visited by Chinese people can be easily undermined.

     What the Chinese government can control is where the internet is allowed, being the only provider for the entire country.  The government is not above completely blocking certain sites altogether for the entire population, just for certain areas, or just certain places for several days.

Youtube, Google, Facebook, and Myspace have all been at the receiving end of this policy.  Over three thousand local Chinese websites were taken off the internet by the government recently for lewd content, but most sites included open discussion forums in which criticizing comments about the government were made.  Several internet arrests have been made for inciting people against the government, and regulations and rules change often to keep people afraid and unsure about what exactly is legal or illegal.  The method by which the government of China is controlling the internet is fear, causing self censorship of its people because the internet is impossible for the government to control.

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