After unblocking several sites during this summer’s Olympic Games, China has quietly begun preventing public access once again, according to the New York Times.
Liu Jianchao, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said during a press conference that Chinese officials have the right to block websites that violate Chinese law. Apparently the Chinese version of the BBC’s website falls in that category, along with Voice of America and Asiaweek, a Hong-Kong based newspaper.
Jinchao said that China “needs to do the required management of Web sites based on the law, just as what other countries are doing,” according to the New York Times.
Recently, Britain and Australia started‚ limiting the distribution of child pornography over the Internet. Also, Germany requires all search‚ engines‚ to refrain from linking to sites linked to Nazi activity. Because, you know, that’s the same as blocking BBC.
As‚ Rebecca MacKinnon, a specialist in Internet issues at Hong Kong University (whose blog is blocked as well), put it, China has defined crime in a very broad sense. They are offering barely any explanation to the public, which they aren’t really obliged to, since China is ruled by a Communist party.
Personally, I see the point of blocking some of these websites for China, which has been known to‚ tighten Internet regulations during times of‚ political‚ stress or economic instability.‚ ‚
Obviously those in charge don’t agree with what is being reported/blogged, but as a child of democracy, I think inflicting those opinions upon the people is ridiculous. ‚
But in the end, for them it’s all about politics. What you don’t see, you don’t know. And what you don’t know, in some cases, makes you blindly happy. Blind happiness isn’t true happiness, but for the rulers, it makes for a more oblivious crowd, the ideal public for a Communist party.