You’ve probably heard of the Great Wall of China, but have you heard of the Great Firewall of China? There must be something about the Chinese culture that really enjoys keeping people out, because China has a powerful firewall that it uses to achieve internet censorship in the country. China used to keep this more modern version of the Great Wall a secret, but it’s current president, Xi Jinping defends the country’s right to censor their internet, and even goes so far as to criticize western countries for allowing such freedom on the web.
Earlier this week, President Xi Jinping, said he thought it would be a great idea to have a global system to manage the internet, stating that countries should be able to choose their own methods of governing their cyber space. “We should respect every country’s own choice of their Internet development path and management model, their Internet public policy and the right to participate in managing international cyberspace,” Xi said. He also called for a governing body to oversee the internet globally.
It’s no surprise that China would take this position because it has one of the most censored cyber spaces of the world. When Xi assumed the presidency, he enacted a law known as cyber sovereignty. This law makes it a crime to even send rumors over the web. Xi Jinping was speaking at the Global Internet Conference, which was designed by China in order to provide a platform to talk about internet governance, and possibly as a platform to get China’s message out to an international audience.
Xi made it clear – “We are willing to strengthen cooperation with others to develop e-commerce, build information economy pilot zones, in an effort to push global digital economic growth.” He said. While others worry that tech companies and other businesses wanting to capitalize on the massive Chinese market will overlook what could be “human rights violations,” according to William Nee a China researcher at Amnesty International, in order to make big bucks.
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