“China’s Internet is the most efficiently censored in the world” – and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. As Beijing gears up to deploy one of the most technologically advanced communications networks in the world, know as CN2, fears are growing that by making it effectively incompatible with the rest of the Internet that censorship will be taken to new levels of depravity.
Already companies like Microsoft have bowed to pressure and censor words such as ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ from its online journal services and this is only the tip of the iceberg. By creating a massive internal Internet China is basically cutting itself off from the rest of the world without the majority of its people realising it. Connectivity maps (see below) already highlight this. In comparison to neighbors such as South Korea or Japan (with far smaller populations) it’s connections to the US backbone are minute and already demand far outweighs supply. If this isn’t metaphorically throttling freedom of information and knowledge then nothing else is.
Where this brave new world will go is anyones guess right now. The biggest question on everyones mind is can China have capitalism without democracy? I doubt it can continue indefinitely but then again ignorance is bliss – as long as people have food on their plate, a house and all its accrutrements then will they care?
- To find out exactly how it works read ‘The Net Effect‘.
- Take a look at the blog of a supporter of democratic reform in Hong Kong (banned in mainland China).
- Read an article on China’s bid to divide the Internet here.
Watch this space…