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Green Dam, Google and Internet regulation
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08:30, June 24, 2009

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The line between government regulation and public legal rights sometimes is difficult to draw, and it seems especially so in regulating the Internet.
Every netizen wants to have unrestricted freedom to use the Internet, but a healthy Internet is required for the good of the society.

The Chinese government must be feeling the heat from public reaction to several recent regulations regarding the Internet.

Controversy over the Green Dam Youth Escort hasn't died. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology early this month ordered that all computers produced and sold in China must come with the anti-pornography software installed.
Several days ago, Google was told by the Chinese government to clean up its pornographic links.


The anti-pornographic website campaign unfortunately hasn't met with full support from the public, despite the government's good intentions.

Online pornography is a headache that every government considers to pose great harm to minors. Widely-adopted methods worldwide for controlling online pornography include regulation by industry associations and strict law enforcement.

With the world's largest online population, China is a lucrative market no Internet company can ignore. The porn industry, especially from the West, is penetrating this market as well.

Worldwide, the more vulgar Internet content is, the more clicks it invites, and more advertisement will follow. It's impossible to eliminate unhealthy content through self-regulation of the profit-seeking companies. The government has to step in.

Effective Internet regulation is a challenge to many governments, even in developed countries. The Chinese government especially has more to learn in this area, such as implementing thorough communication with the public and the industry.

Any regulation has to win wide public support before achieving the desired result.
But Western media shouldn't overly politicize the Chinese government's intentions in regulating the Internet.

Only viewing China through a political lens doesn't lead to a true understanding of the country, and the government's efforts to clean up the Web shouldn't just be seen as politically motivated.

The Internet has huge potential to grow in China. Companies domestic and foreign should operate in a responsible way, and foster the Internet's healthy development. This will benefit everyone.

Source:Global Times



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