April 29, 2006
China's internet censorship
The Economist has a long article on China and the internet, and it doesn't require a subscription: The party, the people and the power of cyber-talk. It is a good summary of China's battles to censor the internet and contain free expression by both the internet and the mobile phone. It ends on an optimistic note:
But the market is likely to prevail over restrictions. Limiting phone-card sales to just a few shops with the ability to process registration requirements would be a blow to mobile-phone companies and huge numbers of private vendors who thrive on such business. It is hard to see how it could be enforced any more rigorously than, say, China's ban on the unauthorised reception of satellite signals. Illegal sales of satellite dishes and cable services offering uncensored foreign satellite channels are big underground businesses in urban China.One thing that crops up is again this idea that China employs 30,000 internet censors, on top of the many hundreds or even thousands more that the portals employ to self-censor. Assuming each government employed censor costs 10,000 yuan a month in wages and technology support costs (I welcome discussion if that number is too high or low) that makes the effort a 300 million yuan per month cost, or about US$450 million a year.
Are they getting value for money?posted by Simon on 04.29.06 at 04:37 PM in the China internet category.
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China and internet censorship
Excerpt: Following on from my post on Power to the Bloggers, some countries are taking serious note of the power of bloggers. On his blog Simonworld, SE Asia commentator, Simon has posted an entry on internet censorship in China. You can
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email@example.com by: DEAN BERRY -- REAL AMERICAN on 04.29.06 at 05:34 PM [permalink]
Dunno how the above paranoid gun-suckin' "Real Amuurican's" spam above contributes to discussion about Internet monitoring on the mainland, so I'll ignore it and just say re: salary for Internet monitoring that my SZ girlfriend has a friend works as one and she says he makes between 3-4,000 yuan/mo.
Justin - methinks there could be an interview in there somewhere.posted by: Simon on 04.30.06 at 11:09 AM [permalink]
It's my understanding that Chinese internet monitors do not read English-language content. Is that true?posted by: Andrew on 05.01.06 at 01:00 AM [permalink]
It seems to be that as much as China wants to censure content, a lot will still be able to get through. This is a very good thing, especially considering how controlled their media is. I'm sure users can get at a variety of smaller political blogs to find out what's really going on.posted by: PoliticalCritic on 05.01.06 at 01:08 AM [permalink]
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The situation in China is definitely improving. Yet I don't think internet censorship doesn't have its positive impact. It could at least minimise the social unsettling in China. There's so many people there, a rumour spread through the internet could easily spark a riot and this is the last thing we want to see.
Of course, the government should take measures to improve and reduce censorship one step at a time.posted by: China101 on 05.19.06 at 08:45 AM [permalink]