China Wants To Block The World’s Internet Access
Who Controls The Internet? China’s ‘Great Firewall’ To Block World’s Web Access, Foreign Affairs Ministry Says
China revealed a new idea for the rest of the world Thursday: A way to spread its own so-called “Great Firewall” to other countries around the world in an effort to control how information travels around the internet, Agence France-Press reported.
The Communist Party government wants “to put forward a ‘China scheme’ or a ‘China solution’ for the tough issue of cyber governance,” a coordinator of cyber affairs for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Long Zhou told reporters gathered for a briefing of the plan, according to AFP.
In recent months, China has further tightened its control of internet access within its borders. In November, it passed a bill that limited some free speech online and strengthened guidelines against some internet service providers.
China also planned to share its findings with the rest of the world, including Russia.
China has long been criticized for censoring and withholding internet access to its citizens, blocking such major global sites as Google, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook, in particular, created software that blocked specific posts following the 2016 U.S. presidential election after “fake news” articles spread and influenced the campaign. The site specifically developed the software in an effort to break back into China after it was shut out in 2009, The New York Times reported in November.
Facebook’s kowtowing to China’s massive market was defensible from a business standpoint. China had almost 700 million internet users, or rather 1 in 4 of the world’s entire internet users, and its electronic commerce foothold represents 40 percent of the entire globe, the Washington Post reported in May.
But it’s not as if China completely blocks social media. In fact, according to a study published by Harvard University in 2014, China has a very robust, but internal, social media market that’s equally as wild as the one Americans are familiar with, according to The Guardian. The difference was China vigorously monitors and removes any posts that may reference any negativity against or even for its government. Essentially it’s carried out to nix any chances of the Chinese people banding together.
“There is no absolute freedom in this world,” Long said at Thursday’s briefing. “Cyberspace may be virtual, but the people who use it are real, so cyberspace must not be beyond laws.”