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Internet Censorship and Education in China

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The Internet is a key to innovation. In the United States, the Internet has had a positive effect on education. It has widened the amount and type of resources available for research, provided students with effective methods of collaboration (discussion boards and forums), and has allowed for social networking to become less formal and more widespread. This has not happened in China. The “Great Firewall” is inhibiting China and thus curbing its innovation. Academic freedom is a First Amendment right that is recognized by the American government; however, China’s academic freedom is “constrained by the Communist Party’s monopoly on power, which is enshrined in the Constitution, and by the party’s deep involvement in the operation of the Chinese universities (Hennock).” The Internet censorship in China has fostered a lack of education and culture that allows for their citizens to think creatively and speak up for themselves (Bao).

According to an article by Rebecca MacKinnon, “While the Chinese government has supported the development of the Internet as a tool for business, entertainment, education, and information exchange, it has succeeded in preventing people from using the Internet to organize any kind of viable political opposition. Balancing openness with control has been the central challenge for the Chinese Communist Party since Deng Xiaoping began his policy of “reform and opening up” in 1979.” Clearly, the normal Chinese citizen would be afraid to just browse the Internet because of the filters and possible risks involved. “One student blogger in China, pen-named “Undersound” estimated that only about five percent of the people he knows actually use proxy servers to access blocked websites. Most of his classmates...

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