This could be seen as a human rights issue, which it is, but since it involves the net I thought I would place it here along with my amazement as to the level of control people are 'willing' to accept. Then again I would need to know how many people actually use the net in China so as to know if anything is missed at all.
BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- China is to close unregistered China-based domestic Web sites and blogs, a media watchdog said, as the government tightens its grip on the Internet. Popular domestic Web portals are already pressured not to publish sensitive news and voluntarily patrol chatrooms and other areas of their sites for "Politically incorrect" statements and delete them.
Since the web is not a singular entity, how are they going to be able to close it down to so many people? I am curious as to the method being used to shut off certain types of web activity. Or perhaps it is only websites hosted in their own country, since that is mostly what I see them talking about. But what about yahoo and sites that host in multiple languages but are not hosted in the other countries? People can still go there with an anonymous name.
Well here is the follow-up, basically they want real people as in names associated with web production so they can hold someone responsible. That way you will be more silent knowing that they actually know who you are and what you are doing. Now the problem with that is anyone can sign your name up for a blog.
CHINESE OFFICIALS ORDER WEB REGISTRY
A year-long campaign by the Hu Jintao government to silence unofficial voices in China and to assert control over independent expression continues with an order this week for all Chinese Web sites and bloggers to register their real names with authorities, or be closed by June 30.
DEMOCRACY A 'BAD WORD'
Chinese bloggers, even on foreign-sponsored sites, better chose their words carefully -- the censors are watching.
Well you cannot expect MS not to give in to the might and money of China can you? After all they do not have to abide by US based laws while in China - as they say, when in Rome...
MICROSOFT UNDER FIRE FOR CENSORING CHINESE BLOGS
SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp's new MSN China internet venture is censoring words such as "freedom," "democracy" and "human rights" on its free online journals, Microsoft said, putting itself in the middle of a major web controversy.
Ban the Blogs
BEIJING - Chinese authorities have blocked a pro-democracy Web log after it was nominated for a freedom of expression award by a German radio station, a press freedom group said Thursday. The blog, titled Wang Yi's Microphone, dealt with "sensitive subjects" and was maintained by a teacher from Sichuan province, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
China Shuts 598 Sites for Online Smut
BEIJING - Chinese police have closed 598 Web sites in a crackdown on pornography, but online gambling and fraud are growing, state media said Friday. The latest crackdown, launched in March, led to 25 arrests, the China Daily Newspaper said, citing figures from the Ministry of Public Security. That figure was low compared with more than 500 people arrested in a nationwide crackdown last year. China has the world's second-largest population of Internet users after the United States, with more than 100 million people online.
Now I have to wonder if Google is not using a double standard. They claim independence and their own identity, on one hand they do not want to give the US any info on it's indexed sites and yet on the other hand they are helping the Chinese to filter out content.
Google Helps to Gag the Internet
SHANGHAI, China - Google's decision to filter sensitive topics from Web searches in China is a major triumph for the regime's campaign to have the Internet censor itself, observers said Thursday, amid mounting criticism of the move.
Ref. Yahoo News