More Censorship in the East

May 3, 2010

Based on a FOX News Article, the Chinese Government is strengthening a law that requires phone and internet companies to report customers that have “leaked state secrets” to local and federal authorities.  The issue of governmental censorship has grown from recent legislation by not only China, but other governments (such as in South Korea) as well.  The article mentions that such restrictions recently caused Google to move their Chinese HQ to Hong Cong, as there are less governmental restrictions there.  Later on, the article mentions that “after deadly ethnic riots broke out in … July, Beijing blocked Twitter and Facebook, unplugged the Internet entirely and slowed cell phone service to stifle reports about the violence”.  This control of communication is simply another way the government limits the rights of the people, and keeps most in the dark about current issues.

The problem with the new legislation is that “state secrets” are defined broadly, so as to include anything the government deems a secret at any moment in time.  This will restrict free speech and free expression of thought; if people know the government is watching, they will act differently just as people drive the speed limit when they see a police car.  The real scary thing is that companies similar to our AT&T, Comcast, and Verision are being forced to act as spies and report back to the government.  Although this is not the first piece of legislation of its kind, I don’t believe it will be the last.

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