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Censorship The Internet News

China Sets New Rules On Internet News 340

auckland map writes "China set new regulations on Internet news content which ban the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest. Established news media needed permission to run a news Web site, while new operators had to register themselves with government information offices. This move further widens a campaign of controls Chinese government has imposed on web sites, communication, leisure and businesses." From the article: "The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest ... [internet news sites] must be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."
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China Sets New Rules On Internet News

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  • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:29AM (#13649651)

    The Reuters copy is a bit spotty in its coverage...more information can be found here [nytimes.com], here [expressindia.com], and here [infoworld.nl].

    Interesting quote from the third source listed above:
    Under the new regulations, Internet news sites are encouraged to report news that is "healthy" and promotes economic and social progress, Xinhua said. In addition, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported that any news Web site that reports "false or distorted information" will be fined up to 30,000 renminbi (US$3,701) under the new guidelines.
  • by gamer4Life ( 803857 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:48AM (#13649765)
    China is NOT a "communist" country.

    They have an authoritarian government with a capitalist economic system. "State capitalist" is the more correct term. (authoritarian states are not necessarily communist, although the reverse is generally true).

    This may be offtopic, but usually the conversation always manages to drift towards this anyways regardless of the original topic.
  • Re:No, not reall (Score:2, Informative)

    by the_mind_ ( 157933 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:59AM (#13649831)
    No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

    There is a word for it: Doublespeak [wikipedia.org].
  • by Dinosaur Jr. ( 651083 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:09AM (#13649889)
    http://drudgereport.com/flash4.htm [drudgereport.com] FLASHBACK: HILLARY CLINTON SAYS INTERNET NEWS NEEDS 'RETHINK' Sun Sep 25 2005 16:52:50 ET China on Sunday imposed new media restrictions designed to limit the news and other information available to Internet users, sharply restricting the scope of content that can be posted on Web sites. In 1998 during a meeting with reporters, Hillary Rodham Clinton said that "we are all going to have to rethink how we deal with" the Internet because of the handling of White House sex scandal stories on Web sites. Clinton was asked whether she favored curbs on the Internet, after the DRUDGE REPORT made headlines with coverage of her husband's affair with a White House intern. "We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?" she said. Hillary Clinton Continued: "I don't have any clue about what we're going to do legally, regulatorily, technologically -- I don't have a clue. But I do think we always have to keep competing interests in balance. I'm a big pro-balance person. That's why I love the founders -- checks and balances; accountable power. Anytime an individual or an institution or an invention leaps so far out ahead of that balance and throws a system, whatever it might be -- political, economic, technological --out of balance, you've got a problem, because then it can lead to the oppression people's rights, it can lead to the manipulation of information, it can lead to all kinds of bad outcomes which we have seen historically. So we're going to have to deal with that. And I hope a lot of smart people are going to --" REPORTER: Sounds like you favor regulation. MRS. CLINTON: Bill, I don't know what -- that's why I said I don't know what I'm in favor of. And I don't know enough to know what to be in favor of, because I think it's one of those new issues we've got to address. We've got to see whether our existing laws protect people's right of privacy, protect them against defamation. And if they can, how do you do that when you can press a button and you can't take it back. So I think we have to tread carefully. END
  • by LexNaturalis ( 895838 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:12AM (#13649909)
    I'm sure the Communist Party of China [wikipedia.org] would love to hear that news... ;)
  • by str3ssh3d ( 917854 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:28AM (#13650019)
    Some of us do realise when the bell rings; stopping oneself from salivating however is a somewhat more difficult exercise. In the UK the political agenda is re-enforced through the media on a daily/ hourly basis (I believe the US has good old fox-news). Over here, soap operas such as East Enders and Emerdale feed the masses their daily message for social betterment - today it's racial intergration; tomorrow it's stealing state benefits - the list goes on. Tune in to BBC 1/ ITV 1/ Channel 4 & 5 between 6:30 pm and 9pm and you will here yesterday's politic rhetoric neatly and succintly summarised for those of us who do not watch the offical state programming . err sorry I mean the news broadcast...
  • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:29AM (#13650025)

    The problem is that "national security", "patriotism", ironically even "democracy", are also the first excuses someone reaches for when they want to take your freedom away. No, let me rephrase that: the problem is that the people tend to get stuck on some _words_ instead of their _meaning_.

    The sad thing is that this isn't a new problem, but some people seem to be unable to learn from the past. I hope most people here have read Orwell's thoughts on the matter, but for those of you who haven't: Politics and the English Language. [resort.com] Written almost sixty years ago, and as true today as it ever was. Quote:

    In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way.

  • Close, but not quite (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:38AM (#13650107)
    Yes. China is not Communist anymore.

    The large enterprises are majority owned by the government (CNOOC, for example, is 70% owned by the gov't) but minority shares are available through the stock exchange. I wouldn't say they have a capitalist economic system, although it has increasingly capitalistic elements.

    Normally, I'd make a point that "State Capitalism" is an oxymoron (since Capitalism means the seperation of state and economics), but it oddly "kinda sorta" fits China today.
  • Well, here's a version that isn't a tired platitude. From the PRC Constitution [people.com.cn]:

    Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

    Article 41. Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary. Citizens have the right to make to relevant state organs complaints and charges against, or exposures of, violation of the law or dereliction of duty by any state organ or functionary; but fabrication or distortion of facts with the intention of libel or frame-up is prohibited. In case of complaints, charges or exposures made by citizens, the state organ concerned must deal with them in a responsible manner after ascertaining the facts. No one may suppress such complaints, charges and exposures, or retaliate against the citizens making them. Citizens who have suffered losses through infringement of their civil rights by any state organ or functionary have the right to compensation in accordance with the law.

    It would sound like a good constitution (it even includes the Freedom of Religion) if they didn't literally throw it away with Articles 51 and 52:

    Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People's Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.

    Article 52. It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the unity of the country and the unity of all its nationalities.

    In other words, the freedoms that come before those paragraphs are only suffered at the state's whim. If they feel that you are in any way working against the state (e.g. the criticism they just "allowed" in Article 41) or attempting to undermine the "unity of the state" (e.g. the freedom of religion granted by Article 36) then the state will step in and run you over with a tank [wikipedia.org] or throw you in jail.

    So much for the constitution of the People's Repulic of China. Be very happy if you live in a country to whom rights are more than words on a sheet of paper.
  • Re:Peoples.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @10:11AM (#13650384) Journal
    When Communism was strong (and these bodies were named) China certainly had a very strong social welfare program

    You mean like the social welfare programs that starved 30 million people to death? [orbit6.com]

    China's move away from Communism trough free market reforms, and its expansion of exports to the US, has lead there to be about 200 million [chinadaily.com.cn] fewer people in China living on under $1 per day now than in 1990.

    I'm no apologist for China's continued lack of human and political rights, but at the same time at least the government appears to be leading economic growth, which is much more than I can say for Cuba or North Korea (or places like Zimbabwe).
  • Re:How primitive (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @11:08AM (#13650776)
    Right... all the news is controlled by one evil corporation. I think you forgot a word in there.

    "In America, we just have all TV news produced by a relatively small set of companies that are politically sympathetic to the ruling political power."

    Type the following into google. Liberal News, Socialist News, Communist News, and Conservative News. Then merrily wander your way over to your favorite podcasting website and just pick through the various news types you can pick.

    Besides, TV news (outside of Fox News) is not sympathetic to any 'ruling power'. The TV news is brain dead crap they stuff into a 30 minute (minus commercials) program. Reporting on the "runaway bride" and other lazy half assed reporting isn't evil, it is just fucking lazy.

    There are plenty of alternatives. If you are reading this article, you have access to them.
  • by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Monday September 26, 2005 @12:55PM (#13651665)
    I think the term you're looking for is a one-party socialist bureaucracy. China's not really communist anymore, but they are definitely socialist. Basically China is capitalist, except the government owns and operates all the key industries as if they were corporations, which makes them socialist.

    This only works because of globalization, China can control the entire industry in their country and compete with foreign corporations who don't have the benefit of being able to unilaterally set wage rates. China is in a much better economic standing than the US, because the government and the corporations are one and have the same goal. In the US the corporations both attempt to control the government and undermine it, I'll let you figure out who will probably be more successful in 100 years.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.