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Russia And China Both Want To 'Protect Children'; Both Want To Do It By Increasing Censorship

from the what-about-protecting-rights? dept

As expected, Russia has passed a law that will allow Web sites to be blacklisted, ostensibly to "protect children". According to this AFP report, the very vague "harmful information" category has been narrowed somewhat, but future threats remain:

Russian newspapers said Wednesday the final version has specified a previously broad term of "harmful information", saying only child pornography, suicide how-to instructions and drugs propaganda can lead to website closure without a trial.

However, an expert on Russia's security services, Andrei Soldatov, said the bill would lead to creation of a mechanism for blocking foreign sites for the first time by forcing Internet providers to install special equipment.

As the UK experience shows, once the technology is in place to block child pornography, say, the calls to deploy it for things like alleged copyright infringement become more insistent.

China, of course, already exercises pretty tight control over all forms of media, but it seems it wants to lock down online activity even more:

China's broadcasting and Internet regulators have told Internet video providers that they must prescreen all programs before making them available, tightening state censorship of increasingly popular online drama series and mini-movies.
Prescreening all uploaded videos might seem a tall order, but it's already going on with some services:
A woman working in the public relations office for Youku, China's most popular online video provider, said Wednesday the new decree had little impact on the company because Youku already has hundreds of prescreeners who examine all content uploaded to the site.
You can probably guess what justification China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) is using for this move:
SARFT said this week in a statement on its website that the rule is in response to the rapid growth in online video programs, some of which it said contain vulgar content, excessive violence or pornography. It said the rule would protect younger people and promote high-quality online programs.
It's so nice to know that governments everywhere are united by this desire to protect children; pity they seem equally united in not caring about the erosion of people's rights through the ever-deepening censorship they apply as a result.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    I'm going to go out and murder children, for the children

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    The real scandal in all of this?

    Is that these people who pretend to represent the people of their countries are using children to further their agenda. All I can say is please do not be brainwashed by their rhetoric because they do not give a damn about the children. Not as much as they care about controlling their citizens through controlling the Internet, at any rate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

    Considering that this is Russia and China, this isn't that surprising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    Yeah, because we never see this sort of thing in the UK or US?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    A paranoid person might think international governments are making a pre-emptive strike on the Internet

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    We must protect the children from freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    I was smart enough not to have children.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re: The real scandal in all of this?

    No no freedom is bad. It kills our childrens.

    We must stop freedom.

    Protect the children !!Fuck you freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re:

    you don't see transparent extensions of censorship regimes aimed at stifling political criticism becoming law, no. Not for a lack of effort by Lamar Smith, that being said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

    Protect the children, this from a country that has underage children working 60 hour weeks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    letherial (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 5:52pm

    Re:

    Protect the children to exploit them, thats how china rolls.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    I'll tell you how to protect the kids. DON'T HAVE THEM!

    Shit is so screwed up right now it should be a crime to bring someone new into this mess.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    If these videos are so evil that they must be pre-screened...what about the pre-screeners? What's protecting them from the evilness in the videos? Are they somehow magically unaffected by the pornography, curse-words and other evilness?
    If they're unaffected...then it means the videos they watch aren't as evil as they claim.
    If they are affected...who would trust the word of someone whose mind has been warped?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 14th, 2012 @ 1:40am

    and where did they get the idea from of increasing internet censorship? the thick fucking US and UK governments! the very governments that condemn on the one hand any form of censorship, invasion of privacy and eroding of human rights and the governments that carry out these practices, whilst on the other hand actually take these practices to levels greater than the countries they condemn do atm! how friggin crazy is that? just to add more stupidity into the equation, they are going to further condemn the increases in censorship these countries are going to implement and the probable increase in citizen maltreatment, after having done so themselves already. which other supposed democratic countries spy on just about every movement of all citizens? the US! which country locks you up for password protecting your data, then condemns you for not protecting it? the UK! you cant get much more hypocritical than this!!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Jul 14th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    It's probably already been said here, but Russia and China have been the only thing between Syria's Assad and the World Court in the Hague.

    They both want to preserve the "right" of governments to massacre or enslave their populations as they choose. Russia just passed extremely harsh new laws that will stifle accurate reporting and effective political opposition. They've also passed a law requiring anyone working for an NGO to register as an "agent of a foreign power".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jul 14th, 2012 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "you don't see transparent extensions of censorship regimes aimed at stifling political criticism becoming law"

    lolwut?
    You can't be serious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    relghuar, Jul 14th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Ouch

    Russia and China......
    .....

    .......

    ..... protecting people's rights?

    Sorry, this really didn't even make it to the same paragraph :-/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    vegetaman (profile), Jul 14th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    It's simple...

    "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

    Also, there's this whole misnomer about legislating morality because "just a little bit will protect us"... Something about the path to hell being paved with good intentions (though apparently near-sighted and foolish ones, at that)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    JoeCool (profile), Jul 14th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Too right! If you don't protect them, they won't be fit for working 60 hours a week! Just think, if the children could get on any old web site, they might find out that children elsewhere don't work 60 hours a week. They have to be protected from such sites!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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