China Ramps Up Online Censorship Efforts As US Congress Gives Them Perfect Cover

from the this-is-what-we're-allowing dept

As the US seeks to set up its own "Great Firewall" by copying Chinese censorship techniques in the twin bills SOPA and PROTECT IP (PIPA), it appears that China is doing exactly as you would expect when you give a government the tools to censor the internet: it keeps ramping up the censorship. Specifically, it's requiring anyone who uses the local equivalents of Twitter, like Sina Weibo, to register with their real names, which then have to be verified by the government. Then, they're banning the posting of anything the government deems to be "harmful information."

Now, I know that every time we compare SOPA/PIPA to the Great Firewall, the defenders of those bills twist themselves into contortions to explain why it's totally different because US censorship is about "intellectual property" and Chinese censorship is about "political repression." Yeah. Ok. But if you look at what China says, of course they don't say it's about political repression -- they say it's about "harmful information." Kinda like SOPA/PIPA's focus on "rogue sites," right? It's all in how you define it, but the fact is that they're both forms of censorship, and when you open the door to that in the US, you don't want to see where it ends.

And, of course, the State Department -- despite all its rhetoric about "Internet Freedom" -- can't do a damn thing, because the second they say anything to the Chinese, the Chinese point to SOPA/PIPA and say: "Look, you consider copyright infringement to be harmful to the US. We consider people disrespecting our leaders as harmful to China. What's the difference?" And, honestly, the State Department has no credible response. This is why we've been hearing from multiple sources that many people within the State Department are quite upset about SOPA/PIPA. Not only do they undermine online security, but they undermine a multi-year effort to push for more internet freedom abroad.

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  1. identicon
    darryl, 20 Dec 2011 @ 12:04pm

    US is no rolemodel

    you think china actually CARE what the US is doing ?

    Do you honestly believe China (or any other country) wants to follow the US's lead ???

    Honestly, NO ONE CARES about the US, except possibly a few people who happen to live in the US.

    Countries do not look at the US and say to themselves "what a fantastic country, lets make our country just like that!".

    Possibly 40 or 50 years ago that might of been the case, but these days you dont have anything.

    even countries like india are doing better than the US. The US has run out of anything to offer the world of any value. You cant even pay your own bills, comparing the US to china, it wont be long until china OWNS the us, if they dont allready.

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