China’s Crackdown on Internet Freedom

Via the Weekly Standard

The New York Times reports that “China already has some of the world’s most far-reaching online restrictions,” and now it’s getting worse.

“New regulations that require bars, restaurants, hotels and bookstores to install costly Web monitoring software are prompting many businesses to cut Internet access and sending a chill through the capital’s game-playing, Web-grazing literati who have come to expect free Wi-Fi with their lattes and green tea.

The software, which costs businesses about $3,100, provides public security officials the identities of those logging on to the wireless service of a restaurant, cafe or private school and monitors their Web activity. Those who ignore the regulation and provide unfettered access face a $2,300 fine and the possible revocation of their business license.”
The new measures are supposedly meant to allow the Chinese authorities to crackdown on crime, but will instead allow the Communist government to suppress freedom more easily. This renewed crackdown is apparently in response to the Arab Spring, which has been a poignant reminder to the Chinese government that repressed people eventually seek freedom.

The explosion of the internet is difficult to suppress, even for Beijing.  People tend to forget that China is a belligerent country ruled by a communist authoritarian regime.  This should serve as a reminder.

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