China Strengthens Regulations of Internet News
Today China introduced a new set of rules intended to regulate news posted on Chinese Internet news sites. Xinhua news, the official state news of the People’s Republic, reported “The State bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest.”
Xinhua continued that only “healthy and civilized news and information that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress.” Quite a vague and very party line statement.
China, with its population of over 100 million Internet users (and growing rapidly) is the second largest Internet using country behind the United States. The Chinese government has recently come under fire for prosecuting journalists who leak government information to net news agencies and also for censoring Chinese bloggers.
In related news, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres) has issued a handbook to help blogger dissidents publish news which is banned in their own country (which of course is available in Chinese). Topics include How to blog anonymously, Technical ways to get round censorship, Ensuring your e-mail is truly private and Internet-censor world championship. I’m sure the downloads of this handbook have increased today.