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Government Censorship The Internet News

Human Rights and a Code of Conduct for China's Web 108

Ian Lamont writes "Human Rights Watch is preparing a code of conduct that specifies how major Internet service providers and portal operators should deal with Internet censorship in China. An officer for the group expressed concern that the Chinese government is 'setting the standard on control of the Internet' and also singled out international companies working in China for preemptively blocking access in 'anticipation of requests from the government' rather than waiting for orders from Beijing to block access. China has recently blocked YouTube following the posting of videos about the Tibetan protests, but has been unable to completely stop the flow of Tibet-related information in and out of China, thanks in part to bloggers and others using spam tactics to bypass Chinese filters."
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Human Rights and a Code of Conduct for China's Web

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  • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

    by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:00PM (#22784096)

    How will the government respond? Are we going to have dozens of people arrested, imprisoned and/or deported?
    The last time the Chinese government responded to a large gathering of popular dissent, which as you say will surely accompany a high profile global event such as the Olympics, they did it with tanks, tear gas, and machine guns [wikipedia.org]. I suspect that not much has changed since then.
  • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

    by esocid ( 946821 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:00PM (#22784100) Journal
    The cat concentration camps [dailymail.co.uk] in Beijing have already gotten some bad responses. They are basically culling cats in the city, and it looks like people are being encouraged to give their pet cats to teams who round up cats in the city. The govt says it is to prevent disease, but civet cats wasn't really the problem with SARS so this is just a campaign to clean up their image, which may actually be doing the opposite.
  • Re:Olympic response (Score:5, Informative)

    by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @12:02PM (#22784124) Homepage

    ...it would open the worlds eyes to just what is happens there, how restricted freedoms really are.
    But will the world really respond in any meaningful way? I think most people realize how oppressive the Chinese government is. But, they sell cheap goods, so we (US-centric here) won't interfere with them economically. (As a side note, I have a graphic on my wall that they gave me at work - A bald eagle soaring in front of an American flag with the phrase "Proud to be an American" emblazoned on it. I have it turned and circled to display the "MADE IN CHINA" mark on the back.) They can treat their neighbors however they choose and we respond by putting 'Free Tibet' bumper stickers on our cars. Military interaction would, of course, be disastrous.

    The only way that the Chinese government would listen to any outside influence would be strong economic sanctions tied to behavioral changes. And we rely on them so thoroughly at this point that sanctions strong enough to be noticed would be suicide...

    Any ideas?

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