Chinese New Year Clampdown

Written by:
Damian Jennings
Date Posted:
5 January 2018

13,000 new websites have been shut down in China for breaking their internet rules according to Xinhia, China’s state-run news outlet.

Additionally, 2,200 sites have been summonsed to have “talks” with the Chinese Cyberspace Administration. Wang Shengjun, the Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress reckons such telling offs “have a powerful deterrent effect”.

Quite what these talks involve is unclear. Maybe making the wrong doers sit on the naughty step for a bit, maybe pulling their fingernails out. Who knows?

‘Stability’
China states that the internet regulations, which have been live since 2015, protect national security and stability. However, human rights groups counter this saying the extremely harsh internet laws are repressive and were created to block dissent. Freedom House, in its 2017 “Freedom on the Net” report accused China of being “the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom”.

There are 731 million people online in China but still their internet access is highly regulated. Amongst the blocked sites are Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. China only allows social activity from their own Weibo and WeChat. Which are monitored closely.

Despite locking down the net for its citizens, China still reckons it wants to work with other nations as global internet access is continuing to grow.

Controlled content
Sure, China is an extreme example, but they’re not the only country trying to control content available online. In Germany, for example, they are fining social media companies for not removing posts with hate speech. The social companies are trying to fight this saying the rules cause censorship. Well yes, of course they do. But as hate speech is illegal in Germany, they are just going to have to deal with it.

It’s all about adhering to the local rules and laws of the country you wish to operate in. If you don’t like the rules, don’t operate there.

More details on this are available here.

 

 

 

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