IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Internet Dragon
(previous | next)

A new study released last Thursday titled Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005 traces some disturbing trends coming out of the Communist-controlled country. The report concludes that the Great Firewall of China (the massive Internet filtering regime) is "pervasive," "effective" and the single "most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world." The authors were particularly surprised at its acute level of invasiveness and the constant refinement of its filtering techniques. The study also describes the complex legal regime that aids the effort to suppress information in the name of social stability.

The report is a sobering document for many of us who originally assumed that as China's online population grew, the harder it would be to censor speech. Actually, it turns out that it doesn't matter how many people are online, 25 million or 100 million, the effects are the same. China is proving here (contrary to popular belief) that the Internet can be controlled by aggressively targeting key gateways on the backbone network. Of course there are organized efforts trying to deceive or circumvent these restrictions, but so far they have achieved only marginal success.

All of this censorship comes at a high cost to the Chinese economy in terms of resources, talent, and functionality. More importantly, it has left the democratic reform movement without a very powerful tool for change. China's democratic revolutionaries, wherever they are, are not on the Web.

I discuss the censorship issue briefly within the broader context of China's telecommunications policy in this paper released today. Specifically, I examine the country's ambition to create "national champions" (large telecom companies with the ability to compete globally) and how that goal conflicts with the more pressing need to promote infrastructure investment.

posted by @ 10:16 AM | Communications

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation