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China’s creeping censorship

Posted by Author on January 10, 2010

Alice Xin Liu, guardian.co.uk, Saturday 9 January 2010 –

Most Chinese bloggers, Twitter users and internet-savvy folk are happy about the suing of the Green Dam by Cybersitter LLC, who this week claimed that China’s software developers stole 3,000 lines of code directly from them and used it for the controversial Green Dam Youth Escort software.

The reaction from internet supporters in China isn’t positive. “It serves them right,” Michael Anti, long-time online media guru and outspoken Twitter user, told me. Another internet personality and wanderer around China, “Zola”, supports the suing of the Green Dam. He said, “The Green Dam is not something that I support, the people behind it should be punished.” But a more concise explanation was offered by a software developer based in Guangzhou, who goes by the name “Lemoned”: “First, it’s a sign that software developers and users in China have limited awareness of intellectual property rights. Second, those in power and the policymakers have not accrued enough information about computers and new technology. Finally, this is China in the far east that we’re talking about. Don’t think that it’s in the west.”

Lemoned is certain about one thing: although the lawsuit is somewhat expected and the software fills a gap, he directs his argument towards the trend that online control has become stricter in China.

For example, the Beijing News recently wrote about the blacklist of websites and that the government intends to create a “white-list” of approved sites taken from all around the world. All foreign sites would need to register with the government before they launched or continued having their site open to visitors within China. No headway has been made since the regulations were announced. As the Beijing News hinted, it might be that the Green Dam is taking a different form……. (more details from The Guardian)

One Response to “China’s creeping censorship”

  1. I will be shocked if Google really follows through with pulling out China Operations because of the compromised emails. I think Google is just trying to win points with the US Gov in an effort to gain traction in other areas they have having problems in , such as the copy righted materials being scanned and broadcast to the world. I asked a few people here at the John R. Carlisle Institute if they thought Google would really pull out of China and no one thought they would really do it. Time will tell and we will see, probably sooner than later.

    John R. Carlisle

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