Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Great Firewall of China

The Great Wall of China was built to protect the Chinese Empire borders against intrusions by various nomadic groups.

The Great FIREWALL of China --- What is it for?

The said "Great Firewall of China" blocks websites on an array of sensitive topics (ie., democracy). Thousands of websites are blocked outright (ie., porn-related), while other destinations (ie., YouTube and Wikipedia) are heavily restricted.

Contents, including audio and video, should be "healthy" and "in the public interest" and should not damage China's culture and traditions. It is said that for long as there is Internet, China sought to monitor and control the usage thereof by its citizens.

Internet controls were, however, loosened in 2008 in view of the Beijing Olympics, but restrictions have again tightened, as evidenced by the recent blocking of the newly-launched Google+.

This censorship by the Chinese Government has raised controversy and elicited criticism, especially among stanch advocates of freedom of speech and the right of information of the people.

After all, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression" and that the said right includes the freedom to hold opinions, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. The UN General Assembly proclaims the same, together with the other UDHR provisions, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations and that each shall strive to respect these rights and freedoms and secure their recognition and observance.

Doesn't the Chinese Government fear the possible consequences and repercussions of its internet censorship? Like what one Chinese blogger told the Times, even with the most modern technology trying to hold them back, people will find a way to express themselves. "It is like a water flow - if you block one direction, it flows to other directions, or overflows."



No comments: