Internet Censorship in China

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In the United States, every child, teenager and adult uses Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook, among numerous other sites, regularly. The internet is open and uncensored for the most part, other than parental controls. In China, most, if not all of those types of sites are or have been blocked. As in, you could not go to them, unless you found some way around the web filters and firewalls the Chinese government runs in their country. While China defends their practice of internet censorship, based on “protecting” the people, heavy internet censorship is a block to free speech and impedes economic and social development in the 21st century.

China says it has its reasons for censoring its internet. Wang Chen, minister for the State Council Information Office, defends China’s position, stating, “There is an ever-increasing need to ‘guide public opinion’ on the Chinese Internet.”(McCabe) Government reasoning is the prevalence of porn, fraud, and “rumor-mongering.” He also states that this is something that the Chinese people want.

China has already taken steps towards controlling the internet. In July of 2009 China cut internet and cell phone service in much of Xinjiang province in response to civil unrest that the government says was organized over the internet. Paul Mozur (a reporter for the International Herald Tribune) states, “To pull the plug on the internet for 20 million of its citizens is not simply bad policy, it’s a violation of human rights.”

To further that end, China has recently introduced new regulations. China has introduced new regulations that force anyone who wants to host a website must meet in person with government officials and provide personal identification. Reporters Without Borders, a free speech...

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