Monday, September 26, 2005

China wants only healthy news

Less than a week ago, I was talking to my wife about my concerns with the possibility of the government interfering and/or controlling the information existing in the internet.

Ok, maybe I was playing devil’s advocate, or perhaps I was been my paranoid-self, but considering some of the “measures” the actual administration has taken after the events of September 11th it didn’t seem too far fetched. Thankfully the net is too vast, thankfully we'll have all those geeks outsmarting the opposing forces. But what about people like my dad whom can not go farther than aol. Will they be left at the mercy of some fascist-control agenda?

The conversation was forgotten until this morning when I found a link from one of the news at yahoo: China Wants Only “Healthy” News on Web.

We all know the political system and cultural situation in China is quite different to the one in the United States, right?, but still brought the concern to my mind. It may not be the government, at least on a direct way, but what about big media conglomerates taking over making us pay for the content we received and the content we post?… just a thought.

If you don’t want to read the all article here are some extracts worth to mention:

“China said Sunday it is imposing new regulations to control content on its news Web sites and will allow the posting of only "healthy and civilized" news.”

Sites should only post news on current events and politics, according to the new regulations issued by the Ministry of Information Industry and China's cabinet, the State Council. The subjects that would be acceptable under those categories was not clear.

While the communist government encourages Internet use for education and business, it also blocks material it deems subversive or pornographic. Online dissidents who post items critical of the government, or those expressing opinions in chatrooms, are regularly arrested and charged under vaguely worded state security laws.

Earlier this month, a French media watchdog group said e-mail account information provided by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) helped lead to the conviction and 10-year prison sentence of a Chinese journalist who had written about media restrictions in an e-mail.

Authorities in Shanghai have installed surveillance cameras and begun requiring visitors to Internet cafes to register with their official identity cards.

Read the all article here.

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