Policing the Internet

Live Crunch.com says, The Internet was created by the United States government for universities to exchange knowledge. In 1994, Bill Clinton let private companies open up the Internet to the public. What happened next is the wild Wild West. If you wanted to say hateful or racist things that you would never say if others knew, you could say them. If you had snapped a naked picture of your neighbor…

You could put it online and anyone with a 56kb modem could look and there basically wasn’t anything anyone could do. Same deal with the URL address. URLs were basically given away. If someone else got there first, they kept it.

However, things on the Internet are slowly changing as the Internet regulators tighten rules.

Policing the Internet is exactly what Shanghai is doing. Besides, China’s famous Net Nanny so many in the West grumble about, Shanghai’s government has blacklisted 80 netizens and exposed their user names and IPs.

Most of the listed netizens are charges with offenses such as “spreading rumors” and “disturbing social and public order”.

However, what the definitions for these offenses are would differ between nations.  I’m sure that there are behaviors that would be tolerated in the United States that other cultures and countries would frown on.

In fact, many netizens have exposed China’s most sensational cases of corruption.  Some officials have lost jobs due to these exposures. Let’s hope Shanghai’s blacklist of netizens doesn’t include any corruption fighters. After all, only criminals need to fear them.

Learn more about Internet Censorship May be Going Global


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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