Google in China

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Comment on the legal and regulatory environment in China and its implications for the chinese media. In light of the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government of internet access, how do you think the media industry is affected?

On google agreeing to ensure its search content, Reporters without borders commented, “Google’s statement about respecting online privacy are the height of hypocrisy in view of its strategy in China.” However, Google’s Director of Research was of the view, “What’s important to users is access to information, we are giving them that, and we think that’s the most important.” Do you think Google was right in taking this step? Justify your answer.


Internet censorship

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In June 2009, the Chinese authorities announced a plan to implement a new piece of software called 'Green Dam-Youth Escort', under the premise that it would protect underage web users from accessing pornographic content. However, experts stated that the software can also be used to block internet sites for political reasons, including any information regarding Tibet or the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. The Chinese authorities hope that by continuing to censor internet content, they will be able to keep its people in the dark about the true face of the Chinese Government. China currently employs 30,000 internet police to monitor and crack down on any dissent in people’s e-mails or on websites, and said that it aimed to have all PCs built and used in China equipped with 'Green Dam-Youth Escort' by 1 July 2009.

However, after widespread criticism of the plan, the Chinese Government reportedly backed down over Green Dam's implementation, making the software optional. Opposition to the software was rife on the internet and public opinion in and outside China seems to have had an impact after the 'blacklist' of keyword topics which Green Dam blocks was leaked on the internet. The list included references to Falun Gong and Tiananmen Square, despite government assurances that it was to be used to block pornographic material. The

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