The boom in China’s economy has not ended centralized government control and restrictions of freedom
Story from Guardian.co.uk
Despite protests from Google and the US Government, China is pushing ahead to limit Internet access on all computers in the country. All computers will be forced to run a program called “Green Dam” that was initially said to filter pornography. It is suspected to be capable of filtering objectionable political commentary.
Google and YouTube have tried to negotiate better access to China but their efforts have been stonewalled by the Chinese Government.
Green Dam is said to impair the security of the computer but China will not be deterred from implementing it.
Google has been negotiating for years with China in a complicated and often frustrating process.
“We are undertaking a thorough review of our service and taking all necessary steps to fix any problems with our results,” said Google in a statement. “We believe we have addressed a large majority of the problem results.”
Last week the authorities in Beijing had issued a statement that “strongly condemned” the Californian Internet giant for allowing its website, Google.cn to link to pornographic material.
“Google China’s website has not installed filters to block pornography in accordance with the laws and regulations of our nation,” said the CIIRC. “A lot of overseas internet pornographic information has spread into our nation by way of this website, seriously violating laws and regulations.” The Guardian.co.uk
Google does not want to change its policy of free access to the Internet both on principal and for business reasons. However, even in Canada and the United States Google maintains a secret list of banned porn sites. That is hard to imagine considering the amount and variety of porn available with either a Google or Internet Explorer search. We are aware of several instances where Google imposed a site ban based on extreme pornographic content which meant the site could not be accessed with their search engine.
The Chinese censorship has both political and porn implications. During the recent anniversary of the Tienanmen Square protests, China prohibited searches on that and similar words. The impact was across the board and affected tourist operators. A few days after the anniversary, the ban was lifted.
Control of the Internet and its content is opposed by civil rights, free speech and free press advocates. The Internet has proved to be a valuable tool in the spread of democracy and the rights of citizens versus governments. The current unrest in Iran would not be reported as fully without the Internet.