Controlling the Uncontrollable: Internet Censorship in China by Haiping Zheng

Abstract: Though internet was not commercially available in China until 1995, it has been growing tremendously over the years. At the same time, the Chinese government has never ceased censoring internet, which has drawn much international criticism.This paper examines China’s internet censorship and its effects. It provides a general review of the development of internet in China, including the major regulatory schemes that have a direct impact on internet speech. Further, it describes some of the specific measures the Chinese government uses to control the internet: filtering and blocking, imposing liabilities on private parties, access control, internet “police,” and “guiding” public opinion. Finally, the paper argues that internet censorship does more harm than good. It is not only a violation of citizens’ right to freedom of speech, but also an inefficient public policy for the government.

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