China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across the Globe

from NYTs

Within its digital borders, China has long censored what its people read and say online. Now, it is increasingly going beyond its own online realms to police what people and companies are saying about it all over the world.

For years, China has exerted digital control with a system of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which allows authorities to limit what people see online. To broaden its censorship efforts, Beijing is venturing outside the Great Firewall and paying more attention to what its citizens are saying on non-Chinese apps and services.

As part of that shift, Beijing has at times pressured foreign companies like Google and Facebook, which are both blocked in China, to take down certain content. At other times, it has bypassed foreign companies entirely and instead directly pushed users of global social media to encourage self-censorship.

This effort is accelerating as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power. The Chinese leadership is expected to officially abolish term limits at a meeting that begins next week, giving Mr. Xi outsize authority over the country’s direction.

Zhang Guanghong recently discovered the changing landscape for technology firsthand. Mr. Zhang, a Chinese human rights activist, decided last fall to share an article with a group of friends in and outside China that criticized China’s president. To do so, he used WhatsApp, an American app owned by Facebook that almost nobody uses in China.

More here.

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  1. In today’s day and age, we often find that the issue of free speech is one under constant debate. In the hotbed that is our current political climate, there are all too often highly controversial issues pertaining to the freedom of speech. In recent news, students have been exercising their right to protest and imploring lawmakers to develop new restrictions of firearms, but have been consequently punished for their activism. Restrictions on the freedom of speech is a highly relevant issue, but conversations such as these are not limited exclusively to the United States.
    China has had a history of censorship, not the least of these being the suppression of the famous “Tank-Man” incident during protests in Tiananmen Square ( China has entirely suppressed and censored knowledge of the event and it is unlikely that, if the Tank Man is still alive, he even knows of his international fame.
    Most recently, China has called for the censorship of any negative commentary on the country across the internet. They have called for companies such as Google and Facebook to censor this sort of content. This, to me, is unacceptable. The internet is a domain that is generally known to be a place for free expression. While my view is likely biased as I in the United States and we are allowed to freely express ourselves over the internet, there comes a point that, regardless of your stance, China seemingly crosses a line. A perfect example of this is the anecdote the article provides regarding the usage of Dalai Lama in an advertisement for Mercedes-Benz. China took issue with it as he was a proponent of self-determination of Xinjiang. The Dalai Lama is, generally, universally known as a symbol of peace and love. China’s advocacy for the censorship of an advertisement featuring a quote of his is, in mind, simply crossing a line that should not be crossed.

  2. China has long been a communist like country even though it does not classify itself as communist. This is just one example of just how far they are willing to go to keep their people thinking that everything is alright in the world. The amount of things they have done over the past couple of years, from building a DNA database against their people’s will, to now this. This might be the worst thing they have done over the past couple of years, and it is a blatant act of communism, whether they want to admit it or not. As hands on it may be, it is not surprising that they would attempt to do something like this, as the communist way of governing runs along these lines. It is still fascinating however, that China is trying to appear similar to how North Korea is currently running its nation, though not as severe. Whenever a country attempts to censor things on the internet, you know that there are things that the citizens of China would find appalling if they were to look at the matter. This is why Xi Jinping is starring to go right to the individual to convince them that censorship is the right thing to do. When you convince the people, than it becomes their free will to carry out your act instead of being in a forced manner, people will be much more likely to follow through with the request in an adequate manner. It is how North Korea keeps all of its citizens in line, by convincing them that a certain thing is beneficial to them. North Korea in contrast to China, keeps their people on a leash and tell them everything they need to know, and only those things. China is more hands off, but with this act, they are getting close to becoming the very thing that North Korea is. This tactic is something that all of these dictator like countries have done in the past, from Stalin, to Ho chi Minh, to Pol Pot, to Kim Jong Un, and if China does not want to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, than this is something that they need to ease up on.

  3. The United States Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974 to protect people’s personal information such as names and social security number. This act ensured people that the government will handle their private information with fairness and discretion. In other words, the U.S. government will never hand over private information without any explanation. Ideally, this is what this Privacy Act intended. However, that was back in 1974. This is now 2018, a time when AI is advancing rapidly than the United States government can respond with proper social security net for potential obsolete workers in the near future. At the same time, countries such as China are making their moves with attempting to improve relations with India and continuing to become the world leader in AI capabilities while the United States continues to twiddle its thumb. Not only does China is trying to build alliances and improving its technology, it always wants to make sure that no one says anything bad about the government. It makes sense on why China is setting itself an ambitious goal to advance its AI capabilities by 2030. With smarter technology to monitor the web, the Chinese government can one day easily track down a specific individual who lives in Switzerland and distort his messages on non-Chinese social media apps. Even worse, the Chinese government could easily pinpoint his address and send a team to snatch him in his sleep. Everything that China is currently doing should be concerning. While the United States is doing nothing to show that it is still the world’s moral authority, China is taking over many of the key roles that the United States left. For example, the United States pulled itself from the Paris Accord Treaty. After president Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Accord, China quickly filled in to take the leadership role for combating climate change. As we can clearly see, China is taking advantage of this opportunity to assert its dominance in the international stage in every way imaginable. Of course, some may argue that there should be no reason to be concerned with China. The red nation is on the other half of the world and it is minding its’ own business, right? However, China wants complete control when it comes to information. This was an evident case when China requested U.S. tech giants such as Google and Facebook to accept its’ censorship laws if they want to enter the Chinese cyberspace. With the diminishing role that the United States has on the world stage, China is quickly filling the gaps that the U.S. left behind. If we do not do anything, then maybe we deserve potential damaging repercussions because we ignored what was happening outside our borders.

  4. I believe this article is very interesting and brings up many valid points as to how China’s growth and economic policies will have a great impact on their GDP and the United State’s influence on the liberal international order. Overall I feel that China’s attempt to develop the Belt and Road in Gwadar is admirable and multi beneficial. The decision to build more real estate and increase trade in this area will help China build very valuable relationships with the Middle Eastern countries the United States does not have such good relationships with.
    Their idea to create an additional route through Pakistan into the western part of China is a genius idea and believe will give China a vast amount of potential trade wise with their Western neighbors. If China were to capitalize on building a trade infrastructure with the Middle East and solidifying long term trade agreements not only will China rise to power once again as they have done time and time again throughout history but they will also give rise to a stable Middle East.
    A stabilizing Middle East could potentially give rise to a very powerful Islamic State, one that modern generations have yet to see…one that America has never seen before. Creating ties between Asia and the Middle East will certainly inspire violence initially. However over time I believe that the interconnections of global trade will result in the countries being dependent on one another for normal and inferior goods, necessary to maintain their markets and businesses. You have the right to disagree but this is how I feel it will go. I just hope that the United States will capitalize on the investment opportunities and trade deals to secure our dominance as a global superpower for the next few years to come. Now more than ever our country needs people in charge that are skilled in negotiating and have a track record of making exceptional deals.

  5. I believe that it is highly unethical and immoral for the country China to use access to market share in their country. To use the access to China’s market share, as leverage to get international companies to censor themselves all around the world. It should not be any of their business as to what is happening on the internet around the world. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on, the American and international companies that want access to China. I hope, they do not agree with the president of china because, that would cause a huge amount of disagreeing with the American people.

    According to the article it states that, “Chinese authorities have also successfully persuaded Google to pull down content that had been available around the globe”. It is not right that, the Chinese government is threatening the Google Company to take action or else, they will deny them Chinese citizens as market share. The fact that the Google Company is cooperating with, the Chinese government makes it extremely uncomfortable to see what may occur in the future. In my opinion, it seems that the Beijing complaints were the key proponent to the reasons as to why the online content has been removed from the internet.

    The article also states that, “a Chinese antiterrorism expert, said Beijing should put more pressure on companies like Twitter”. So, they can redo their terms and conditions so China can tell them what restrictions users can put on the internet, I believe that is a ridiculous request. Also, the fact that they want these companies to conduct internet censorship on an international level defies, the rights of the American people. The goal of China urging for Google and Apple Company to restrict what people can post on the internet directly challenges our first amendment. Just like, the post Mercedes-Benz’s posted on Instagram got heavily criticized by the Chinese government. They posted an inspirational post in regards to the Dalai Lama and China called them the enemy. The article started that, “China is Mercedes-Benz’s biggest single car market, accounting for about one-quarter of sales”. In my opinion this just shows that china is gaining leverage in more than just the tech sector.

    In conclusion, I believe if, we do not react now and do something about China’s censorship goals, then more than just the Chinese people will face those repercussions. We the American people or any people around the world should be free to say what they feel on the internet. I do not believe that the country China should be the internet police. Nor should, they threaten the access to the potential exposure to their market as a way to accomplish their goals. If China wants to restrict what is allowed for internet use in china then let them just stick to china. If they start to succeed to police the rest of the world we should react because that is outrageous to let China succeed in policing the internet.

  6. China’s rise has massive implications for the world economy and this article only further highlights this fact. The emerging notion of China beginning to throw its weight around is something that the world will probably have to get used to. Given that China’s economic might is beginning to surpass the United States it makes sense that American companies may have to bend a bit to the demands of China. As many of us have discussed in the past the main goal of companies is to make a profit so companies such as Google are very much influenced by the rules set by the Chinese government.
    This development though does highlight some scary trends that are developing in China. As the article notes term limits for the Presidency in China were just removed. This allow President Xi to gain even more power within the country. He has already eliminated large amount of opposition in the name of anti-corruption. While the ability of Chinese citizens to communicate freely within China was already limited, American companies going along with the wishes of the Chinese government is only going to make things worse. While I don’t see this situation changing anytime soon, I think its important that consumers in the United States and other places around the world work to pressure these companies to not necessarily bend to the what the Chinese government wants. I think to a certain degree American companies do have a lot of leverage as they have invested billions in infrastructure in China. While the article notes that these companies are scared to approach the US government for help, this may be the best option if the world wants to address this massive abuse of basic liberties.
    Granted while this is the system within China and it is one that its people have come to accept it does not mean that companies all over the world have to. Its also important to note that China has stolen billions of dollars worth of intellectual property form these companies.

  7. Here in the United States, we take great pride in the privacy we have on the internet. From using social media accounts to news outlets, we have our freedom to use the internet as we please. In authoritarian regimes, they face the exact opposite than the US. In China, they have very strong control over what is seen on the internet. They have limited the use of Facebook and other social media outlets. They have such a strong firewall when it comes to monitoring people’s profiles. The Chinese government have come up with sophisticated ways to spy on their people using various technologies that have been developed. To put it in perspective, this is the same government that puts a limit on the amount of children people are allowed to have.
    In some ways, the government control is a good thing to stop the use of corporations spying on their people. With privacy becoming a big issue here in the US, the Chinese government has put a stop to the use of technologies to spy on their people. From monitoring Facebook pages and profiles, to monitoring advertisements posted throughout the country on billboards and the commercial industry. This is the exact opposite in the United States with the government having little to no monitoring in the social media and advertisement industry.
    The United States should take some notes from the Chinese when it comes to news and social media. Although we are protected under the first amendment, the evolution of technology has changed the views of many. When scrolling through news outlets and social media, we have to be aware of fake news. Confusing the public with different news stories has become a hot topic and has gathered steam with the new President. CNN and the New York Times have come under fire with this new administration. This unfortunately has become an issue for the public as we don’t know what is true and what is fake. The use of social media has impacted in a large part of the news world. The Chinese have thousands of people monitoring the web at any given time which allows them to see and hear everything. When does this become a privacy issue? I think that there has to be some middle ground on the issue.

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    case Swift 4
    case Closures
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  9. Chinese internet censorship has been around for a very long time, and for one main reason; maintaining power and control for the government. The Chinese have gone to great lengths to ensure that their people do not see anything on the internet that the government doesn’t want them to see. This includes any negative discussions about the Chinese government or leader, and is a system that instills fear by providing a sense of being watched. Mr. Zhang’s experiment is certainly something to worry about. While we don’t know exactly how the Chinese government got their hands on his messages, but either outcome is bad. The article even says that “Beijing has at times pressured foreign companies like Google and Facebook, which are both blocked in China, to take down certain content. At other times, it has bypassed foreign companies entirely and instead directly pushed users of global social media” Either the Chinese are able to view encrypted messages sent through American app “What’s App”, or they have spies in the chat which it was sent too, which Zhang suspects. It is a bigger problem if the Chinese have been able to hack What’s App, but if there were spies in the chat it was sent too, it shows China’s true authoritarian nature. To me, the amount of censorship done by the Chinese government displays power and control, but also paranoia. If Chinese citizens were given full internet access and the right to speak their mind, they would not be so compliant in obeying the government, and they would see how limited their freedoms are compared to other countries.
    Another reinforcing factor regarding China’s strict internet policies and authoritarian rule is the fact that Mr. Zhang is actually being charged simply for sharing something that criticized the president. After recently abolishing the term limit for ruling presidents, President Xi Jinping has secured himself a much longer tenure as the President of China. This case shows how difficult being a human rights activist in China really is. By quelling any talk of resistance or rebellion on internet platforms, it is near impossible for an opposition party with a reasonable chance to form. Free speech is a necessary element to people’s freedom from government oppression. If you aren’t able to speak your mind or have a different opinion than the people in power, then in a way you are being oppressed and prevented from having any chance of making a change. The internet is the global hub of ideas and innovation, and if you are blocked from using a big portion of the internet then it is detrimental to society. For example, many people use platforms such as YouTube to learn, but YouTube has been blocked in China since 2009 for showing videos of riots in Tibet, which China claims to be faked. This is a problem because lack of resources to the people just impedes ability to advance and innovate. Overall I think that if people have as much resources as possible to create with and discuss, we will see many more significant ideas and innovations.

  10. China is going to new heights to stop people from seeing outside internet other than the communist party’s propagandized internet. China being a communist country limits what the people of the country can see on the internet. The people are now getting around it by using American apps on their cell phones. China has already gone to great lengths to try to get big companies like Google and Facebook to try and censor some of the content on the websites. China is taking this a little too far, the article referenced a law suit China has against a man who talked bad about the country on the American WhatsApp. They used spies and hackers to get into the secure firewall of the app to obtain this message. At some point China needs to back off of their citizens, they are going to spend too much money and efforts trying to stop this. The people of the country are just going to keep using Americans can express themselves freely like they should be able too. China could be solving more important problems, ones that they can fix, with the time and effort they are spending trying to monitor the internet. It just seems like it is an impossible battle that the Chinese government will not win. The people will always find a way to download and enjoy American apps such as Facebook and Google, the exact companies the Chinese government put pressure on. Eventually if people are using to talk bad about the Chinese internet policies there will become too law suits. I don’t live in China but from the amount people there that use American apps I feel like there are a lot of people that do not support these Chinese internet policies.
    As I mentioned before the Chinese have a law suit against a man from their country. The countryman that they are going against is Mr. Zhang. They are accusing him of a crime that is basically the equivalency of treason. This is one example of how the Chinese government is going to waste their time and energy. There will be more cases like this of important people, and most likely a lot of regular Chinese citizens. This will eventually exhaust them into submitting to the people. I feel like they should just let the people use the internet freely. Another thing to do is to at least make it less strict and let the people have a little more freedom. A little more freedom will make the people of the country like the government a little more than they do right now. This could end up being a good thing for China a better relationship with its people could end up making the country better. Even though it is a communist country a good relationship could be good. I feel that a relationship with the people and communicating with them and being more open could make the country better. I do not think that this will happen because the Chinese is very strict. It is a shame because the people deserve to be able to speak freely.

  11. China has had a history of grave human rights violations but one of the most current instances of such violations is the censorship of much of the global internet. Although China has built an online ecosystem of their own, much of these outlets are state-monitored and controlled and have a difficult time designating itself as the “free web”. The United States in comparison has access to an internet that reflects its capitalistic system, which is free-flowing and drives itself, albeit the recent net neutrality debate has compromised this freedom. For a nation to be wholly free, it must include an open medium for information to freely be dispersed. China has disallowed its citizens of this freedom, resulting in several of its citizens to take action to circumvent these restrictions.

    Nothing will defeat freedom. Freedom will always have supporters who will devote their lives to fighting for it, maintaining it, and keeping it. This is evidenced by Chinese citizens, such Zhang Guanghong, who circumvent both the restrictions of the internet and the Chinese government itself to criticize the actions of President Xi Jinping. The actions China is taking in attempt to stifle these online rebels will be seen to be futile, because it is not possible to quell the fire of freedom. The Internet is only the newest chapter in this struggle which has been taking place for centuries. How people understand and view the world is up to themselves, but they deserve the right to see all the world has to offer and not only what their governing bodies will feed them. Censorship of the Chinese Internet will soon come to an end, it will only be a matter of time when the government of China can no longer contain that spirit of freedom.

  12. How far should censorship go? Although it can be a more pleasant experience to use social media without seeing explicit content, who is the one to judge what content is considered as explicit, and what is considered as acceptable. Being that China is a Communist nation, their media censorship is incredibly strict, as Chinese users are not allowed to post anything about their government, or read anything negative about their government from an outside source.
    The argument that lies here is that China is infringing on the rights of people’s digital privacy which is the case, however in a Communist nation, it is seen as more than ethical. According to communism, everything is shared between individuals in order to fall under the line of equality, therefore their reasoning is why any form of information be left private? The other aspect is that with communism, you must worship and respect the government, therefore citizens of China are unable to access sites that say negative things about their country and their government. In China, there is no freedom of speech, so therefore people have a loss of entitlement to voice their opinions; especially on digital platforms.
    In this case, Mr.Zhang violated their policy being that he was using the third party Whatsapp to communicate about topics that posed negative views of the Chinese government system. Being that this app was not declared as needing censorship yet in China, Mr.Zhang was able to get away with what he had to say about the nation by spreading the words of his own political beliefs. Even the car manufacturer Daimler came under fire for their Mercedes Benz advertisement due to their use of a quote from the Dalai Lama. China found this advertisement to be problematic due to how the Dalai Lama “betrayed” the country of China by speaking his mind. They found this advertisement to be horribly offensive, and demanded that it be removed from all site accessible in China. Although it was not the intent of Daimler to offend anyone, they were still held accountable for designing an advertisement depicting an individual who broke away from China.
    It is agreeable that censorship online should be enacted, but there is a degree to which it should and should not be allowed. In China however, their level of censorship is far too intrusive, as they infringe on the rights of every individuals digital privacy. Overall, China is taking away their citizens’ rights to be entitle to have their own differing thoughts and opinions. Not only does this give the government an extensive amount of power, but also breaks down the individuality of each citizen and their right to freely express themselves.

  13. First off, I strongly believe that censorship should not be a thing because people should have the ability to gain as much information as they want unless it is truly bad for them. China has way too much control over their country and Mr. Xi has been enabling this by creating even more censorship over time. The information out there is important to people because that’s how people learn and withholding that from them restricts their knowledge. I wouldn’t want to restrict people’s knowledge especially when you never know if someone would be able to do something special with that information. I see it that it should be a given right to know as much knowledge as you want and if they take that away then they are virtually taking away one of your rights. This should be a universal rule across the globe because depriving people of their own way of thinking isn’t a good thing. Especially since they have been censoring other sites such as Google around the globe, so now it’s even affecting the United States as they are taking away our given right to knowledge. China just keeps getting there way and we can’t let this keep happening because it’s just going to get worse over time. They can seemingly do whatever they want just like what they did to Daimler about their ad since China was one of their biggest markets. It’s almost like these companies are getting bribed into doing certain things just because china has so much influential power over these companies. These could be seen as against the law, but nobody is stopping it because they already have so much power in the world.

    Now, I can only imagine how scared people are living there because if they say anything bad they aren’t sure if the government would be watching or listening. The Chinese government definitely have access to all the data accessed by the people that live there and it gives them full control over their people. Letting them see only what they should be seeing, but keeping fear within them as their every move will be known. Just as the article suggests by saying that as technology gets more powerful it also gives governments more wider and deeper control from it. People should be able to say whatever they want and have freedom of speech. It allows people to explore their creative sides and flourish as who they are supposed to be. I do however agree with what Mary Margaret Miller said, “It is agreeable that censorship online should be enacted, but there is a degree to which it should and should not be allowed.” To a certain extent there should be some censorship like curse words or even really foul information, but the way china is doing it is way too much. Even just a small connection of what they don’t like is being censored. On Instagram they censored and deleted that Mercedes-Benz ad, but the chinese people didn’t even see it begin with because Instagram was already banned. Eventually when a line is crossed something has to be done and they are definitely now crossing that line and they are stepping outside of their boundaries. The foreign companies should also come together and stand their ground about censorship, especially companies such as Google when they are all about information and sharing the world of knowledge with the people of the world.

  14. I could speak heavily on the issues of censorship, especially towards the Chinese population. But while that itself is unethical, it is also, in my opinion, unethical that they are reaching outside of their “Great firewall” to try and monitor their citizens directly. With this, the government is directly interfering with internet based businesses. If this extends to american based apps such as facebook, then they are cross the border on what can be considered acceptable. American Businesses need to step in and directly speak against the monitoring of peoples devices in this manner, and if they do not receive and appropriate response, should pull their service from the region in protest. Companies should first and foremost side with the consumer, and work in an ethical fashion. China cannot be allowed to continue with its censorship reign.

  15. To begin, people not might agree with China for censoring what people read and say online in China. However, it has begun to be something that we need to accept because it is how they feel about the situation. My issue is it it one thing to censor what their citizens are saying through the Great Firewall, but once it goes past that I believe it is a privacy issue. The Chinese should only be able to monitor what people are saying that are in their country because it is a known thing. They should not be able to go beyond that because it starts to enter into other people’s privacy that have nothing to do with the country of China.
    I believe that it is weird and unfair to the citizens who use non-Chinese apps and services to be monitored. I am sure that these services and apps include all forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. It is unfair to these companies for China to be going into their servers to start to monitor them because they have nothing to do with the Chinese Government. If people in China want to use those apps maybe the Chinese should consider making it illegal to use them. This way these companies that have nothing to do with it are not dealing with privacy issues.
    This also goes into the issue of China officially abolishing their term limits so now their Presidents can be President for life. Which also there is nothing that we can do about it. I believe that the best thing for both of these cases would be for China to keep to themselves and not come in the way for other countries.

  16. In the People’s Republic of China, an international controversy has arisen over an incident regarding one of their citizens, Zhang Guanghong. Mr. Zhang, a political activist, had been arrested on the grounds of acts “detrimental to the government of China” and essentially, trying to incite against the Communist Party of China, the largest political party that dominates the political atmosphere of China. What he is accused of doing is writing impassionate speeches regarding the government of China and the demand of change. Where the controversy is, however, is that the evidence that is being submitted to the courts were based on an American mobile application, known as WhatsApp. In order for the Chinese authorities to gain access to this evidence is shrouded in mystery and presents only two options of how they obtained it: through illegally hacking an American owned and encrypted application, or using a spy to collect information regarding Mr. Zhang. Ever since the Stalin era, strict censorship has been greatly associated with the Communist governments of many countries. For example, in North Korea, many defectors have described the culture there. In many instances, the defectors were shocked of the technological advances and how much content they were able to access via the Internet. They described how on top of the very little usage of the Internet in universities, that the North Korean government has very great restrictions on the amount of content accessed. Many of the defectors said that the information that they’ve received in the country they defected wasn’t something that could have been found in North Korea.
    With this in mind, it is not surprising that the Chinese government still have strict policies regarding free speech. Even though, as a whole, the government has opened up greatly since they became a Communist state, they still have a significant influence over the daily lives of their citizens. In the Chinese government, many of the mainstream social media services found in the US and other countries, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. are considered illegal to access in China. One of the reasons given was that these companies would not allow the government access to monitor their systems or change the amount of content available on Facebook. In many cases, the Chinese government developed state-sponsored social media programs which is monitored by the Chinese government and they can have control and access to peoples’ accounts. With the case with Mr. Zhang, however, this presents a grey area in the legality of Mr. Zhang’s arrest and also the legality of how the evidence was obtained. Mr. Zhang was using a social media platform that was not owned or operated by the Chinese government and has not been clarified as illegal or legal in China. Since they did not own the application or have any control of it, how can it apply to Mr. Zhang’s arrest? In terms of how the evidence was obtained, Mr. Zhang had not been informed before his arrest that government officials were investigating him on the content that he posted. In order for the Chinese government to obtain the evidence on a secure platform, they would have needed to hack into the program, or implement a spy into the system. This proves that the Chinese government are still able to go to any lengths to suppress any free speech/media sentiments in their country and shows how they are willing to break their own laws or twist them in order to convict political activists/enemies.

  17. It is deeply unsettling to see a regime halfway across the world attempting to assert its influence outside of its borders. Unfortunately, I am not surprised. Considering the President of China, Xi Jinping’s recent attempts at consolidating his power, it seems obvious that he is going to do everything in his power to suppress any sort of opposition to his and China’s reputation. It is becoming increasingly worrisome to see China prosecute its own citizens that are using American-based apps. This comes at a particularly contentious time, in which the tensions between America and China are at a breaking point. Ironically, China is America’s #1 trading partner, exporting a total of $170 billion and importing almost $500 billion. The question that must be asked in this case is, how will a trade war affect relations between America and China and, more importantly, what are the implications on the rest of the world if both countries end up with strained relations?

    Scary enough is the fact that in some cases, Chinese citizens are also complacent in assisting Chinese officials to censor more sources of governmental and Communist party opposition. This indicates that propaganda from media outlets in China are able to convince citizens that they should have restricted free speech and general freedom in favor of the Party’s cohesiveness. China’s increasing strength and boldness in increasing their influence on the rest of the world represents a growing issue for just about everyone. What is China, more specifically the President, going to do in the future in order to make themselves heard outside of its borders? Only time will tell, but China should be closely monitored due to its increasing assertiveness. Government censorship should not be tolerated anywhere in the world, as all people should have basic freedoms like life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Oppressed people do not have the opportunity to get freedom that they so rightfully deserve, and it is abhorrent that a country that calls itself the “Peoples’ Republic” would completely go against that in favor of a ruling political party.

  18. Unsurprisingly, China is in the news for its aggressive steps to enforce its internet censorship across the globe. It seems that as the years progress, China grows more confident in exercising their powers on several foreign companies. Having the financial and technological power and influence, China is in a great position to enforce many of their wishes, like censorship that is the primary focus currently.
    Similarly, enough, although the idea of a foreign country is controlling their people’s perceptions on things, those issues are closer to the American country than one may think. In fact, for years in America, mass media has been familiar with manipulating our perceptions on several things. From beauty, politics and social issues, the American government and CIA have shaped what we have seen.
    For example, spending my early life in Africa and then coming to America I have to say that “American mass media has embedded in national thought the idea that Africa is a starving, disease-ridden, and war-torn continent.” From grade school to even college and beyond, when Americans think about Africa words like “savage, uncivilized, huts, dirtiness, and spears” come up. and lack of history.” And while there are problems that exist in Africa, the same goes for places all of over the world like America and China. Nonetheless, America has failed to educate their people on human achievements in Africa, cultural richness, and intriguing history. By portraying my people in such a negative light, it’s understandable as to why I truly believe that there is a huge American agenda to dehumanize my people and the continent. Additionally, in relation to China, I can understand why they feel so strongly about controlling their image and only wanting to be seen in a positive light, because not only is it good for business but, it’s also encourages the country to do better and be better.
    Moving along, I find it troubling that social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are only motivated to censor what people post daily when people expose the ugly history of America. Keep in mind, that when its black bodies being gunned down by policemen those videos can take days to take down. It is situations like people of color being recorded while being killed that I feel like censorship should take place. Yet, if people get in the habit of seeing black bodies killed, everyone tuning in can either be traumatized and/or desensitized almost making deaths of these beings normalized, which is not right or humane. At the same time, postings of unjustly killings and unfairness with the law system should be documented so we the people are aware and can fight for justice. Considering this, I think it is unfair that China hides images of rebellions and other things that put China in a bad look. If the people are constantly in the dark about injustices going on in their country, it would be hard to organize something like a protest to bring justice.
    All in all, America as well as other countries foreign to China need to be very selective with the power they give or allow China to have because I can see soon that with their growing dominance globally, corruption and abuse is likely to take place.

  19. China is not much different from other Communist countries when it comes to exercising control over its citizens. Using the Great Firewall is an invasion of the rights of its citizens, but is more like Big Brother is watching and the Chinese people live in a completely oppressive system. It is obvious that China is trying to keep and image and not allow its citizens to see what is in the rest of the world. This would bring about great discontent and rebellion. History books are explicit in stating that China has oppressed its peoples for centuries, but the Internet will be a difficult system to control. China’s pressure on YouTube, Google, and Facebook will only be able to go so far. These are already uncontrolled media in our country and most free countries do not try to control the use by citizens. There are rules against certain immoral uses of these forms of media, but China does even more.
    Prisident Xi Jinping wants complete authority over these Internet sources, so that his people do not look outside their own world. Mr Zhang, an important person in China who wants to help its citizens spoke against the Chinese president on an outside source and they held him completely accountable for the article and he was pressured by the government. China is trying to control the Internet and free speech on it. It is censorship, but and he asked many companies such as Google to limit access by China.
    Whatever China’s reason for doing this, Facebook and Google are facing scrutiny in this country because of unfair and possibly illegal practices. The government here is going to have to do something about the Internet control in this country. There are terrible people who have used it as a tool for illegal activities and it needs to be more closely monitored. This is not going to be easy, but with all the hacking and sharing of personal information, people need to face the reality of the dangers in having all our personal business posted on various formats of media.

  20. I was aware that China has government-monitored censorship on internet access but I was not aware that it was able to influence big technology giants such as Google to take down thousands of items. China is steps ahead of the United States in many ways and this issue of censorship puts tremendous pressure on American businesses and how they wish to operate their businesses overseas. With China being a heavily monitored country regarding its internet access, it has limited the knowledge of what is actually going on in the world to its own citizens.Blocking American giants such as Facebook and Google in the country would enable the businesses to obey any conditions put forth by the Chinese government because China has the largest market for internet users and that alone is a very profitable market.
    This is concerning to me because China is rapidly growing and trying to expand their views on a global platform. With the efforts to work in the Chinese market, companies in countries such as the United States would have to obey their restrictions in order to make a profit. Pressurizing foreign companies can eventually hurt economy. The perception of the stockholders that are investing in such companies can change and negatively impact the overall economy.
    With China’s President declaring to be President for Life is frightening because China is moving back in history and eventually has the potential to become a dictatorship. With this power and the power of the technology that is rapidly growing in that country can have tremendous consequences. I would like to point out a quote from this article, “But people neglect the fact that modern authoritarianism also rises with the development of technology, which makes wider and deeper control possible.” This quote is what grabbed my attention and it is worrisome that China is actively pressurizing companies to conform with their censorship requirements.
    Overall, this article does a great job in informing its audience about the way that China is trying to achieve global dominance. In my opinion, China has great potential to be successful in their efforts because it is the world’s leading market in many areas. This is very frightening and can raise many concerns about business implications with the overseas market.

  21. Over that last year or so free speech has been debated. Here in the US we see people exercising this right in many ways, whether it’s through content on the internet, people on the news, or even the multiple protests that have happened. Censorship of this right for is un-American for everyone should be able to speak their mind. Lately however, we have seen people being shut down and being ridiculed because they do not want to hear what other people have to say. Between people being beaten up at protests and rallies and people being shut down from speaking at college campuses. We have seen multiple people getting shut down for trying to exercise their first amendment right. It makes me feel like we are starting to lose this right and we may become more like what china has done.
    China is pretty known for their censorship towards its citizens. According to the article it says that China has censored what its citizens say and even read online. Can you imagine not being able to read what you want online? To me that’s insane. People cannot say anything negative towards China without it being censored. Can you imagine how many people would be censored right now for bad mouthing the United States? Probably about most of this country. China however within its country you would not see anything negative China. I am not sure how everyone feels about the United States first amendment, and maybe because I live here I think that it is how it should be across the world. Some may disagree with me and that’s fine but to me and I hope to at least most people in the world feels as though that China takes things a little to far in regards to its censorship of its citizens.

  22. Everyone is familiar with the idea of propaganda, we’ve seen it used by governments all across world and across time. The xenophobic propaganda used in Nazi Germany, the communist propaganda used in the USSR, and even war propaganda used by the US. The strongest ally of any government is public opinion, the more people who support your agenda the less there are to criticize you. The topic today is China and its use of propaganda to quell ideas of resistance to its single-party system. While some people may not consider censorship to be propaganda I believe that since they serve the same purpose of controlling public opinion they are in fact equivalent. Whatever the semantics, the concept is the same China in order to maintain their control needs to oversee the flow of information regarding China and its citizens.
    When it comes to predicting the future of how far China will try and go with their censorship I think that it’s very much worth it to look at past examples. As I mentioned above Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia are some very prominent examples in the use of censorship. I’ll focus mainly on the USSR because Nazi Germany wasn’t around long enough to truly see the long term success rates of propaganda. The USSR, however was around for most of the 20th century and had a very clear relationship with propaganda and with China as the Chinese system was just an off shoot of the earlier established Soviet system. Throughout Joseph Stalin’s rule over the USSR there was an extreme crackdown in political openness and the ability of people to voice their opinions, this was extremely successful and by limiting the voice of the opposition and amplifying the government’s resistance to communist rule declined all across country. Stalin was an awful man, he was quite possibly one of the cruelest men throughout all of human history but he absolutely knew how grab and maintain power.
    Stalin’s system of censorship, Gulags, and executions of opposition while not humane in any way were very effective in controlling the masses. Communist China was molded by this approach, a fact that becomes even more evident when examining the Sino-Soviet Split. Almost immediately after Stalin’s death in 1953 tensions between the USSR and the PRC (People’s Republic of China) started increasing. The reason for this is largely contributed to the process of De-Stalinization, a policy implemented by Nikita Khrushchev (Stalin’s Successor) where by the standards of extreme censorship and oppression started to be broken down ( While this may have been a great win for the people suffering under these policies I see it very clearly as foreshadowing of the collapse of the USSR, and China saw this too. China knows just as it did then that one-party systems are not sustainable when people are able to voice opinions contrary to the state agenda. This is the reason the PRC is still around while USSR is not, because while the USSR was continued to break down these policies under Mikhail Gorbachev with Glasnost (a policy of increased political openness), China maintained the policies shown to be successful under Stalin ( Now in contemporary times the rise of the internet and globalization China is both presented with new challenges and opportunities.
    While the flow of information has increased exponentially as a result of the internet and that may seem like a significant hurdle to a government whose survival depends on the control of information this is actually not the case. See China was able to quickly adapt to this dangerous technology and figure out how they could turn it into an asset and they have done so very effectively. More information travelling faster just gives the Chinese government a better understanding of who is thinking what and how to strategically target dissent within the public. That brings us to the current situation, with China starting to enter the world stage as a very probable superpower (if it hasn’t distinguished itself as one already) China now has the self-appointed authority to throw its weight around a little bit. If companies want access to China’s huge market the better start to follow their rules and avoid policies contradictory to the policies of the PRC.
    Over the past almost 70 years China has faithfully executed the polices demonstrated by Stalin’s regime and now it stands as one of the world’s greatest powers logically it would make sense that all China needs to do to remain a one-party state is keep doing what they’re doing.

  23. Avans Rophe Beaubrun
    Professor O’Sullivan
    April 6, 2018
    Social and Legal Environment of Business
    Blog Post

    For many years, China has made it impractical for individuals to acquire certain information and vocalize their thoughts and discuss certain matter. China utilize a system of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which allows authorities to limit what individuals are seeing online. For this week’s assignment I read the article titled “China Presses Its Internet Censorship Efforts Across The Globe.” From my perspective, I thought it was very interesting because it is very difficult to censor what individuals are saying and what they are reading but China went even further by paying more attention to what citizens are saying on non-Chinese apps and services. For example, companies such as Facebook and Google are being ask to remove certain content by China.

  24. In many cases, Communist countries restrict their citizens from rights to free internet access to the rest of the world. This had known to cause problems and distance from the rest of the world. China has the Great Firewall that restricts their citizens. Very recently, China has made their President, a President for life. Which sounds a lot like a something that leads to a dictatorship and history shows that usually does not end well. Especially when they start to restrict and take away citizens rights to communicating to the outside countries.
    It seems absurd that a citizen spoke out offensively about its country and is now being sentenced for it. Just for sharing his opinion and here in the US, you have free speech. People are allowed to post their feels on social media. It is not fair to the citizens of China. They are not able to have much of a say. I believe that the way China is going towards, their will be a rebellion against its government. This has repeated in history many times and is only a matter of time. Maybe my opinion is biased, but I believe the United States’ 1st Amendment is the most important and that every country should give their citizen that freedom.

  25. Oddly enough, one of my biggest fears is government censorship. I fear that one day we will live in a world where our freedom of speech will be a tool used to prosecute people and even organizations. China’s strict Internet censorship, in it’s own boarders, is the exact world I do not want to live in. The definition of defamation is the action of damaging the good reputation of someone, slander or libel. This defamation of the Chinese political party is one of the reasons why media outlets like Facebook are blocked from Internet access.

    In today’s world knowledge and information is spread around the planet in seconds. People in France find out about shocking news in America within minutes after it happens. Even still, China’s history and truth about government issues are one of the hidden Internet secrets that inform it’s own people. Americans use the Internet to build, we use it as a tool to connect and share knowledge, with knowledge comes power.

    A perfect example of this is the recent Florida school shootings. America has spammed the internet with news and footage of the tragedy that happened that day. The internet was a tool to spread facts and also organize groups and parties for protest. America’s government was criticized and continues to be put on blast for the lack of rules and regulations. Because of this knowledge, because of this tool, the United States is one day closer to change.

  26. “The fact that China is punishing people for critical content published outside China to audiences not based in China is of course a concern,” as stated by Mr. Rosenzweig. Those were my exact thoughts as I read this article.

    The issue with Mercedes Benz’s post on Instagram was what really struck me as something significant about China’s stance on censorship. It’s frightening to see how much power it asserts over other users and companies that are not even based in China, especially with giants such as Google and Facebook. It is important that companies and individuals have the freedom to express their thoughts and obtain information through the internet, as society has already normalized the use of the internet and technology in everyday life, from work to leisurely activities. It is a right granted to all people, as it is essentially the central hub for the spread of information and expression that catalyzes the advancement of society and human ingenuity. Personally, I believe that censoring much of it would be detrimental to China’s society, and seeing that it is affecting other companies that impact the rest of the world with their businesses, it will become detrimental to the rest of the world as well.

    Another frightening case was that of Zhang Guanghong, who used Whatsapp to criticize the Chinese government. The article stated that the app was encrypted, but the printouts of the conversations that were obtained were uncertain. It was said that it is likely that a spy obtained the information, or his phone was hacked, but seeing what resulted of this case and how China reacted to international companies as well as its citizens is certainly something that cannot be ignored or passed on in the future.

    Should China continue this behavior, and request more companies to delete or modify internationally-produced content, I cannot help but wonder how other countries and companies would react to China’s demands for these companies. If trade and marketing in China completely ceases, it would result in a serious loss of revenue for major companies such as Google or Facebook. At the same time, it would be a profound statement that encourages freedom of speech and the advocacy of human rights around the world. Passing legislation to prevent companies from interacting with China would infringe on the company’s own rights in other countries, so it appears that the choice is left to these businesses that choose to expand their market to China.

  27. Ever since I began doing these weekly course blogs, I am becoming more and more aware of the ongoing utopian communistic situation in China. The government controls its people like a puppet and now has foreign companies scrambling. Is enough ever enough for the Chinese Communist Party? I am afraid to say that I do not believe they will ever be content with the amount of data they possess and people they control. What I do know is that if I were in China at this moment of my paragraph, my house would be breached right about…
    Okay so they got me and now I really cannot do anything about it. They were watching every stroke of the keyboard and every character that appeared on the screen- because of course I am on their network. I cannot move to another computer because of my specific log-in credentials. I am essentially trapped in their sphere of influence that is impossible to escape; if I try to escape I will most definitely be caught within minutes because my face, data, and social score would be plastered on billboards across the country.
    I have no idea what goes on in other countries, on the IoT, or life in general. “Propaganda” is completely removed from society and is completely removed from our lives. WeChat is the way of life and my eyes have never laid visual onto this Facebook site. I long to try and access Google or YouTube but denied entry every time I try. I am concerned as to what other people are doing around the globe and want to learn about others- but sadly I cannot.
    No other country can save us. No other company can infiltrate our lives. We are used to this life now but there are some that long to make a change. Those people are never seen nor heard of again; their social score is diminished, they are brought to prisons and camps, and dropped in the outskirts of society.
    There is now another bang at my door- the third and probably final time I am writing.

  28. Internet censorship that China is burdening on its masses over the years will have a catastrophic effect on its nation, especially in this digital age. This would have a large downfall on the business point of view and economic growth. With China pressuring foreign companies, this multi-billion businesses would have a change of heart and start removing their businesses from China. The first effect of the foreign company’s withdrawal is through manpower as offshore services provide local jobs and in return, gives revenue. The next effect is on China’s technological improvement. Without foreign companies investing in China, there would be no budget allocated to improve on technology and services. Lastly, foreign relations would dip in a hard way as countries would be hesitant in connecting themselves with a country that is already doomed to fail due to economic loss.
    With the censorship being run by the government from left to right, the biggest loss is their democracy. The censorship is already ongoing through their local websites and apps, and now Chinese government would be taking down their international websites and apps into the brink of no return. With this, communication with the people outside their country would be harder and the true meaning of freedom of speech would totally be eradicated.
    To sum all of it, this censorship is just a large propaganda run by the government to protect themselves from the fire of people that oppose their laws and regulations. Everyone knows that the government wants to restrict and monitor all of the nation’s movement just for them to ensure that the people are obeying and not talking anything bad about their leader and the constituents. The country’s direction has never been this bad since communism started and the nation would continuously sink and it starts with this internet restriction.

  29. It is understandable to consider the limits china puts on its internet users in their country. That is just how the Chinese government is run, and those citizens have to abide by those rules. When Mr. Zhang used WhatsApp to share an article using the presidents name in an inadequate way he knew exactly what trouble he could possibly get himself into. This shows that even though you think your using a foreign app, that the Chinese government is still watching you and everything you say. For a country to restrict certain things that their people see on the internet is completely up to them. But when china decides they want to go after big companies to take down certain items because they don’t feel good about them is completely absurd. Trying to censor the internet is the worst thing you could possibly do. The internet is home to so much information that is accessible in seconds, this is something everybody in the world should be able to use. I understand Mercedes took down their advertisement because they want to appeal to their largest consumer. If that were to happen to another company, I feel that it would be ridiculous to remove an advertisement because a country with ridiculous censorship rules doesn’t like the advertisement. If china doesn’t want their citizens to know what is really happening in the world that is fine, but they should never try to delete information that is available anyone else to see. The point of the internet is to be a great source of knowledge for all its users, not for it to be censored by communist governments so people can only see what the government wants it to see.

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