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China’s online censorship push
Why the U.S. wants China to ease up on its filtering of porn, Google, and other Web content
T

he U.S. government is “stepping up the outrage” over China’s Internet censorship, said Richard Koman in ZDNet, especially Web-filtering spyware Green Dam–Youth Escort. China is forcing PC makers to install it on each machine sold in the country starting July 1. The U.S. embassy in Beijing said it’s “concerned” about Green Dam, but “concerned” is pretty mild for this large-scale “repression of information.”

China’s rationale is that Green Dam will block pornography, said L. Gordon Crovitz in The Wall Street Journal, but testing by Internet experts shows that it’s also designed to help China’s “Thought Police” as they “censor” news, political, and religious websites. It’s time to stop kowtowing to China and start lobbying for greater Internet freedom.

The Chinese may not want too much freedom, said China’s official People’s Daily, since there was a “strong reaction from the public” to a government report showing that Google China led Web surfers to “huge amounts” of porn and other vulgar content. Parents especially were angry to hear that Google could be leading their kids to online smut.

It’s funny, then, that China’s not upset about similar amounts of porn linked to by Baidu, said Simon Elegan in Time, China’s top search engine. Some see the “blistering and unprecedented wave of criticism” of Google as China covering up for the “Green Dam fiasco” and quashing foreign competition for China’s 200 million Web users.

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