Friday, April 15, 2011

China criticizes USA internet freedom?

The Chinese do have a point, but it's almost too absurd to believe. The government that developed the Great Firewall of China is criticizing the US for its double standards? China, of course, has a history of "hidden" internet censorship--making websites appear to be offline, randomly dropping connections, forcing search engines to silently remove search results for queries that the government considers sensitive, and regularly deleting posts made on domestic websites. It's not too hidden, though--the government wouldn't want citizens to actually end up believing that they have free speech; then the government would have to lock a lot of them up for speaking the wrong opinion. I don't imagine they can afford to have as many prisons as the US, and it's impractical to execute all of them, too. So it's a good thing they do explicit censorship, too.

Anyway, it a comical case of the pot calling the kettle black. When you see that China is blocking reports and internet searches about the middle east uprisings, and even about time travel, it sort of makes you feel better about the U.S. government private industry harassing Wikileaks and its supporters. Or seizing laptops at the border without official suspicion or warrant. Or the whole Guantanamo Bay thing. Or any number of other policies. Surely, human rights activists in China wish they had our problems.

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