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June 25, 2007



I don't think what China is practicing (blocking sites) technically qualifies as censorship.

Censorship is to me, a set of guidelines that must be obeyed both by the producer and by the viewer.

For example, when our films are censored, it is against the law to show the uncensored version. It is also against the law to view the uncensored film.

On China's internet however, it is NOT against the law to view "blocked" sites if one is savvy enough to have the know how in using proxy servers. Neither is it against the law to maintain "blocked" sites.

It is like attending a visa interview at an American Embassy for a Chinese. The visa interviewer could upon looking at one's financials decide to not issue a visa to this person without giving him any reason. He has a lot of discretion on who to issue visa to.

The root cause for such powers is that I think the servers are owned by the government. So they can do whatever they want. I think what is needed is privately owned internet infrastructures.

I'm not a fan of censorship. I myself am gag by my country's Internal Security Act which forbids me from telling you about the difference in treatments of the different races in Malaysia. Whenever I open my mouth about Malaysia, I must be very careful that I am not violating any thing that could put me under arrest by the Internal Security Act.


At first, I find myself agreeing with mahathir_fan on his basic point at the end, that servers should be run by a privately owned Internet infrastructure, if he is talking about China. But isn't that already the case? I don't know. I thought that if a company like Google puts its servers in China, then Google still owns those servers and the information on them.

What really concerns me are the statements Google has made earlier that they are always careful about where they put their servers because of the concerns about user privacy and even the constitutional protections of certain freedoms for the users.

But where has that idea gone now that they've placed servers in China?

Who made that decision? Was it voted on in a shareholder referendum? Was it just arbitrary?

I'd like to know more about that.

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