Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Internet Censorship

Censorship of the internet is near to impossible to accomplish in the United States. We can search anything we want and get a million and one opinions on the subject. Of course, we can thank the first amendment for that. But, what about countries who live under authoritative rule? How can you control something available to everyone? And is it right?

The Sydney Morning Herald discusses Google's announcement to "uphold the principle of free access to information while obeying Chinese law." The chinese governement only wants to use the interent for business and education. It is concerned with pornographic and dissident voices. Since China is such a big market Google doesn't want to lose them. They are sacrificing objective information for revenue. And in turn silencing voices allowed to be heard by the company's home base country.

Less than four months ago I was in China traveling on a study abroad program. After our daily excursions I would attempt to log in to Facebook on my iphone and the page would keep trying to load without success.  Other students encountered the same problem. As soon as anyone steps into China they are subject to the same censorship. I had never experienced anything like that before. It is scary to feel disconnected from information. There are terms, topics and events wiped clean from the internet. Searching Tiananmen Square 1989 results in one government fabricated lie after another. I even asked the tour guide about the riots and he said it was something no one discussed and wouldn't provide me with any addition information.

Censorship takes away a persons right to information, truth and justice.

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