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News & Politics News & Politics

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, ‚ÄėPublic Opinion‚Äô

Posted by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM
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Crime

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, ‚ÄėPublic Opinion‚Äô

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names

Chinese paramilitary police (Getty Images)

BEIJING (TheBlaze/AP) ‚ÄĒ China‚Äôs government tightened Internet controls Friday with approval of a law that requires users to register their names after a flood of online complaints about official abuses rattled Communist Party leaders.

Authorities say the law will strengthen protections for personal information. But it also is likely to curtail the Internet’s status as a forum to criticize the government or publicize corruption.

‚ÄúTheir intention is very clear: It is to take back that bit of space for public opinion, that freedom of speech hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users have strived for,‚ÄĚ said Murong Xuecun, a prominent Chinese writer.

The rules approved by China’s national legislature highlight the chronic tension between the ruling Communist Party’s desire to reap technology’s benefits and its insistence on controlling information.

Beijing encourages Web use for business and education but tries to block material deemed subversive or obscene. It has steadily stepped up censorship, especially after social media played a role in protests that brought down governments in Egypt and Tunisia.

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names

China’s People’s Liberation Army marches in Beijing. (Photograph: Chinafotopress/Getty Images)

The latest measure requires users to provide their real names and other identifying information when they register with access providers or post information publicly.

‚ÄúThis is needed for the healthy development of the Internet,‚ÄĚ said Li Fei, deputy director of the legislature‚Äôs Legal Work Committee, at a news conference.

Li rejected complaints that the public will be deprived of a forum that has been used to expose misconduct.

‚ÄúThe country‚Äôs constitution protects citizens‚Äô rights in supervising and criticizing the state and government officials‚Äô behavior,‚ÄĚ Li said.

The measure comes amid reports that Beijing might be disrupting use of software that allows Web surfers to see sites abroad that are blocked by its extensive filters.

At the same time, regulators have proposed rules that would bar foreign companies from distributing books, news, music and other material online in China.

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names

Chinese riot police. (Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

The government has given no indication how it will deal with the technical challenge of registering the more than 500 million Chinese who use the Internet.

Microblog operators, two of which say they have more than 300 million users each, were ordered last year to confirm the identities of users but acknowledge they have yet to complete that task.

The main ruling party newspaper, People’s Daily, has called weeks for tighter Internet controls, saying rumors spread online have harmed the public.

The secretive ruling party is uneasy about the public’s eagerness to discuss politics and sensitive issues online despite threats of punishment.

In March, authorities scrambled to squelch online rumors about a possible coup amid a political crisis that led to the downfall of a prominent party figure, Bo Xilai, ahead of the party’s fall leadership transition. A dozen websites were closed and six people detained.

This week, 70 prominent Chinese scholars and lawyers circulated an online petition this week appealing for free speech, independent courts and for the ruling party to encourage private enterprise.

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names

Chinese paramilitary police, wearing their hats upside down, undergo a drill to prepare for the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing. (AFP/Getty Images)

Communist leaders who see the Internet as a promising source of economic growth were slow to enforce the same level of control they impose on movies, books and other media, apparently for fear of hurting e-commerce and other fledgling online businesses.

Until recently, Web surfers could post anonymous comments online or on microblogs.

That gave ordinary Chinese a unique opportunity to express themselves to a public audience in a society where newspapers, television and other media all are state-controlled. Some of the most popular microbloggers have millions of readers.

It also made the Internet a clearinghouse for accusations of official misconduct.

A local party official in China’s southwest was fired in November after scenes from a videotape of him having sex with a young woman spread quickly on websites.

Web surfers can circumvent filters by using virtual private networks ‚Äď encryption software that is used by companies for financial data and other sensitive information. But VPN users say disruptions began in 2011 and are increasing, suggesting regulators are trying to block encrypted traffic.

by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM
2 moms liked this

Thank you for posting this...

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting jcribb16:

Thank you for posting this...

You're welcome.. : )

Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM
2 moms liked this

I would not want to live in China.  I have heard of some pretty brutal things that take place if they don't like what you do or say.  you literally have no rights when it comes right down to it. 

blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM
1 mom liked this

They appear like robots...

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names

jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:44 PM
2 moms liked this

I wouldn't wish to live there, either.  It's a real shame to have to live your only life with restrictions like that.  I feel awful for them.

Quoting Debrowsky:

I would not want to live in China.  I have heard of some pretty brutal things that take place if they don't like what you do or say.  you literally have no rights when it comes right down to it. 


jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I wonder what the purpose is for the upside down hats.  To make sure they are perfectly balanced and straight?  I've never seen something like that before.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

They appear like robots...

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names


blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting jcribb16:

I wouldn't wish to live there, either.  It's a real shame to have to live your only life with restrictions like that.  I feel awful for them.

Quoting Debrowsky:

I would not want to live in China.  I have heard of some pretty brutal things that take place if they don't like what you do or say.  you literally have no rights when it comes right down to it. 


Ladies, I saw a documentary several yrs ago depicting the one child policy in China which robs it's citizens of free will and personal decision making. A Chinese woman was forcibly dragged weeping from her home because she was pregnant a 2nd time. She was placed in a van to take her to a clinic for an abortion. The individuals in the van were holding her down til they arrived @ the abortion facility. Her neighbors told the gov't about her secret. Neighbors and friends are encouraged to turn ppl in for not being obedient to gov't policies. Another sad story revealed a woman approaching a train to take a trip to go shopping in the city. Women guards forced her off the train while she was crying. They accused her of not having a pass by the gov't. Lack of freedom in China is frightening~

jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I saw that same documentary - it was appalling and shocking to see them treated like that; not to mention their babies being murdered. You know the leaders don't like documentaries like that getting out for the world to see.  

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting jcribb16:

I wouldn't wish to live there, either.  It's a real shame to have to live your only life with restrictions like that.  I feel awful for them.

Quoting Debrowsky:

I would not want to live in China.  I have heard of some pretty brutal things that take place if they don't like what you do or say.  you literally have no rights when it comes right down to it. 


Ladies, I saw a documentary several yrs ago which depicted the one child policy in China which robs it's citizens of free will and personal decision making. A Chinese woman was forcibly dragged weeping from her home because she was pregnant a 2nd time. She was placed in a van to take her to a clinic for an abortion. The individuals in the van were holding her down til they arrived @ the abortion facility. Another sad story revealed a woman approaching a train to take a trip to go shopping in the city. Women guards forced her off the train while she was crying. They accused her of not having a pass by the gov't. Lack of freedom in China is frightening~


Ednarooni160
by Eds on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM


Quoting jcribb16:

I wonder what the purpose is for the upside down hats.  To make sure they are perfectly balanced and straight?  I've never seen something like that before.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

They appear like robots...

Police State: China Tightens Control Over Speech, Public Opinion | China Requires Internet Users to Register Names


Good question..

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:37 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting jcribb16:

I wouldn't wish to live there, either.  It's a real shame to have to live your only life with restrictions like that.  I feel awful for them.

Quoting Debrowsky:

I would not want to live in China.  I have heard of some pretty brutal things that take place if they don't like what you do or say.  you literally have no rights when it comes right down to it. 


Ladies, I saw a documentary several yrs ago depicting the one child policy in China which robs it's citizens of free will and personal decision making. A Chinese woman was forcibly dragged weeping from her home because she was pregnant a 2nd time. She was placed in a van to take her to a clinic for an abortion. The individuals in the van were holding her down til they arrived @ the abortion facility. Her neighbors told the gov't about her secret. Neighbors and friends are encouraged to turn ppl in for not being obedient to gov't policies. Another sad story revealed a woman approaching a train to take a trip to go shopping in the city. Women guards forced her off the train while she was crying. They accused her of not having a pass by the gov't. Lack of freedom in China is frightening~

I saw a video similar to something like that..and to think we "deal" with that country..it's "mind boggling". How can you sit in a room and smile at someone negotiating "knowing" what they are doing to their citizens.. But...alas..we are getting desensitized here also.. Pretty soon many here will  not give a care about anything or anyone..then what? China here we come...

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