The Internet in China

Earlier today, the People’s Republic of China released a “white paper,” their first of the year, about the status of the Internet in China.

To be honest, the first few pages of the report, about how China first became interested in the Internet and how Beijing had a 64kb connection made my eyes all googly.

On page 5 is where things start getting interesting. Right off, the first thing I read was the words, “Guaranteeing Citizens’ Freedom of Speech on the Internet” – China is known for stringent Internet filtering. Known outside of China as “The Great Firewall of China” China’s “Golden Shield” initiative is a far reaching Internet blocking protocol that either blocks websites the government of China finds subversive entirely or logs who tried to access what.

This page goes on to say, “According to a sample survey, over 60 percent of netizens have a positive opinion of the fact that the government gives wide scope to the Internet’s role in supervision, and consider it a manifestation of China’s socialist democracy and progress.”

Another statement that received my attention was this, “The leaders of China frequently log onto the Internet to get to know the public’s wishes, and sometimes have direct online communication with netizens to discuss state affairs and answer their questions.”

I would love to know how this is done. Is there a website? Do they email?

The last page lists a series of Chinese laws enacted to protect Chinese citizens on the Internet. I had no idea there were so many.

English page for the White paper.

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