China Censorship #81

The Chinese government has ordered individual owners of websites and bloggers to register with the government or face being shut down…

The decree requires owners of websites, whether commercial or non-commercial, to comply with the edict by the 30th of June and give the name of the person or persons responsible for the sites.

Bloggers in China have had email messages telling them to register or face sanctions. And, said the organisation, one blogger who contacted the Shanghai police to register was told there was no point in registering as independent blogs would not be granted permission to continue.

“‘The internet has profited many people but it also has brought many problems, such as sex, violence and feudal superstitions and other harmful information that has seriously poisoned people’s spirits,’ said a statement on the MII website, explaining why the new rules were necessary.”

This is not unusual by the way – most authoritarian regimes either ban all independent “media” or require government registration and approval. China has developed the technology to discover and automatically ban (or worse) “unregistered” sites. The majority of filtering software and hardware, in China and elsewhere is made by American companies.

In related news, “most Americans believe bloggers should not be allowed to publish sensitive personal information about individuals, according to a new survey.”

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