Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Censorship is Bad, MmmKay?

In the past I have defended Google, Microsoft and others for complying with Chinese censorship laws, but never let it be said that I have defended China's right to censor.

I don't think we should be using different standards to judge China. In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem. I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their offices from the Webcast. And I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all.
Is this the case of a bureaucrat having no idea what it is his country does or does he really think he is going to fool someone?

China's policy of trying to stop sites is counterproductive and ill-conceived. Chinese citizens that want to find out about Tienanmen will do so, by trying to stop them the government is only confirming that they are trying to control their constituents.

I'm optimistic that this practice is going to be short-lived. Unfortunately, I do not have any evidence for this Pollyanna view.

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