Egyptian blogger from Cairo.
Revolutionary Socialist.
Partner & Creative Director at ThePlanet.

The Great Firewall of China

Seemingly not satisfied with censoring major websites like Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia, the Chinese government has ordered all PCs sold in the country to have a pre-configured software installed that would block all websites with pornographic content or language. Starting Juy 1st, anyone purchasing a new PC will have his hands tied, thanks to “Green Dam Youth Escort”, the latest technology that the Chinese government has been working on for years. In fact, they have deployed a special “Internet Police” body of more than 30,000 officers to ensure fluidity and compliance with orders.

China's Internet censored

China's Internet censored

Very few people would be willing to make a big fuss about the censorship of adult content, for various reasons. Firstly, many conservative families would actually like to prevent their children from accessing disturbing content. Secondly, no one would be proud of defending pornography, that would say many things about you that you wouldn’t like people to think. Moreover, with so many problems and human rights’ violations throughout the People’s Republic of China and beyond, there are more important things to worry about (such as basic daily needs), and there have been too many failures (According to Amnesty International, China has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world), so you wouldn’t want to mess with the authorities.

However, this is not an issue of pornography, it’s much bigger than that. The fact that the Chinese government can track the sites visited by every single person, and the fact that they now have the ability to censor any website whatsoever, makes the only free method of communication ever to exist almost completely impotent. It is a clear attempt to isolate the Chinese population from accessing information from the rest of the planet, and this will inevitably lead to dire consequences. While many governments are not fully aware of the power that the people posses thanks to the Internet, the Chinese authorities have done their homework and are taking all of the necessary measures to ensure totalitarianism.

What many do not realize, however, is that the Chinese government would’ve never succeeded in censoring and filtering internet access if it wasn’t for the helping hands from some of the American corporations. Google, for one, is a prime example of a company that claims to follow a certain philosophy, but acts hypocritically. Thus, while Google.com is censored, Google.cn is publicly accessible throughout mainland China. That is because Google were kind enough to offer the service of providing the Chinese with a stripped-down, filtered version of the original search engine.

As stubborn as they may be, there is very little the Chinese government can do to maintain the inevtiable explansion of the web. Sooner or later, the leackage cracks will be to big to handle, and the power will be restored to the real owners: the people.

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