The government of China has recently launched a major crackdown on Internet sites and search engines that it does not condone.
China says it “decided to launch a nationwide campaign to clean up a vulgar current on the Internet and named and exposed a large number of violating public morality and harming the physical and mental health of youth and young people.”
But China has, in the past, revoked the rights of Internet providers to serve the public in China, or has restricted content, for politicial reasons often seen as a violation of free speech.
Internet: Do You Really Believe China Cares About Porn, Public Morality?
Activists say China and Vietnam, in particular, hide corruption, human rights abuses and pro-democracy information from the public — using anti-porn as a justification. These actvisits say the government actions are blatant censorship and violations of free speech.
In the recent crackdown in China, Google, MSN, Baidu and dozens of search engines and providers were forced to delete content and apologize to the Chinese government.
The action comes in a year of social turmoil due to the economy, mass migration of the unemployed, fear of economic unrest and several anniversaries that may spark unrest within China.
This is the 20th year since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Analysts see this year as a potential trouble point for China’s Communist government.
But Rebecca MacKinnon, co-founder of Global Voices, an assistant professor of journalism at Hong Kong University, a former CNN correspondent and an observer of China and the Internet, recently discussed with CNN the move by Beijing. She believes the Internet trend in China is part of a larger global move….
By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Read the CNN report:
China widens “vulgar” online crackdown
Google, Baidu Other Internet Companies Apologize to China To Regain Business
The Associated Press reported on January 9, 2009:
China on Friday expanded its Internet cleanup campaign, which had ostensibly been aimed at cracking down on pornography, to shut down a blog-hosting site popular with activists, www.bullog.cn. The site’s founder, Luo Yonghao, said he was notified by the Beijing Communications Administration that the site “contained harmful comments on current affairs and therefore will be closed.”
Tim Johnson of the McClatchy Newspapers reported on this on January 9, 2009:
For one thing, the internet is abuzz with postings and photos of young Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi cavorting on a beach in the Caribbean with her fiancé. (Sorry, I’ll offer no links, just the photo you see of her here.) China Daily this morning calls the hubbub over the photos “an instant online carnival of voyeurism.”
Zhang, who was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, was voted China’s most beautiful actress last month.
Read the rest:
Chinese Boy Toy Edison Chen
Psst: People, as noted by China and Vietnam, waste a lot of time on the Internet:
China: Porn King Almost Got The Best Of Barack Obama
Other nations have also taken actions against a totally free Internet recently. The Associated Press reported on December 27, 2008:
A proposed Internet filter dubbed the “Great Aussie Firewall” is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.
Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government — mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.
Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.
“This is obviously censorship,” said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.
Read the rest:
Australia Moves to Censor Internet
Vietnam has for a long time tried to rein in the Internet and bloggers. On December 24, The Associated Press reported:
Vietnam has approved new regulations banning bloggers from discussing subjects the government deems sensitive or inappropriate and requiring them to limit their writings to personal issues.
The rules ban any posts that undermine national security, incite violence or crime, disclose state secrets, or include inaccurate information that could damage the reputation of individuals and organizations, according to a copy of the regulations obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Read the rest:
Vietnam imposes new blogging restrictions
Vietnam: Editors of Leading Anti-Corruption Newspapers Removed
Media Censorship, Criminalization of Free Press In Vietnam Needs Action
South Korean Arrested, Used Internet to Criticize Government
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