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McLaughlin 1

Joshua McLaughlin
Dr. Spruill
10th H World Lit
11/8/15
Media, Mobile and Internet Censorship In China
"Censorship reflects a societies lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian
regime..."

-Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States 383 U.S. 463 (1966)

The Chinese communist party uses the world's largest and most intricate censorship
system on the planet, nicknamed the "Great Firewall of China" by the media. It also has one of
the largest, if not the largest, digital and data empires on the planet, in which it controls. It
controls all TV and Mobile communications infrastructure within China This has given rise
incredible internet, news media, and mobile censorship. Today, China employs approximately 30
thousand "Internet Police Agents" who investigate and censor individuals that post information
online which may expose Chinese government officials. The Chinese government owns and
controls all internet access within China effectively blocking any content on demand. Today 1 in
4 websites that are normally accessible by Google and other search engines are blocked by the
Chinese government. The Chinese Central government also controls and manipulates the media
by blocking a reported 923 media websites and controlling internet censorship. This results in
over

1.72 billion people effectively experiencing some type of internet, news and mobile

censorship daily.

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With 1.72 billion people effectively censored, it is apparent that the China's Communist
Government censorship is extensive including internet, mobile instant messaging services and
blogging, books, magazines, newspapers, and academic research, cell phone communications
thus limiting free speech and business with fear of retribution.
Now the Chinese Government claims in its official policy documents that it has an open
information policy for Media, Mobile and internet. It also claims that it's mild censorship is for
the good of the nation as it prevents hacking and viruses from impeding the nations security,
economy and the ability to conduct business. These official statements are contradictory to
documented actions as found in this research paper as the people of China have the right to
communicate, share, and view information freely, and it should not be censored by the
government in its attempt to maintain control of the opinion of the people.
In fact maintaining control of the opinion of the people is first exposed by the Chinese
Government media censorship by controlling the knowledge of the population in regards to
country wide events by censoring books, magazines, newspapers, and academic research. This
results in informational control to the populous. According to Human Rights Watch, "Censorship
guidelines are circulated weekly from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda
department and the government Bureau of Internet Affairs to prominent editors and media
providers." By controlling the output of the press on a week by week basis, the communist party
essentially controls the opinion of the general public by limiting what events the Chinese citizens
see as well as the rest of the world.
However, this is a clear violation of Article 19 of the UN's Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, of which China is a signatory. Article 19 states that as humans all people have the

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right to exchange and view information as they please. The government also controls who is able
to become a journalist, by requiring they "pass political ideology exams before they can be
issued official press cards." (hrw.org). The government essentially has full and complete control
over who is in the media, therefore controlling what kind of content is released by the media.
This results in a complete manipulation of the general public's views and opinions preventing
people from obtaining general information about the world and other current events freely and
without bias.
Additionally, the government also controls who is able to become a journalist, by requiring they
"pass political ideology exams before they can be issued official press cards." (hrw.org). The
government essentially has full and complete control over who is in the media, therefore
controlling what kind of content is released by the media. This allows the Chinese government to
completely manipulate the views and opinions of the general public, preventing people from
obtaining general information about the world and other current events freely and without bias.
Additionally, journalist are not paid for their stories unless the stories are "approved" by the
communist government. If their stories are not approved the journalist has to eat the cost of the
story. Finally, journalist are not paid for their stories unless the stories are "approved" by the
communist government. If their stories are not approved the journalist has to incur the expense of
the story.
In addition to Media, the Chinese Communist Government also controls cell phone
communications and openly monitors voice and text communications directly limiting free
speech and business with fear of retribution. This is reflected in a January 29th, 2015 New York
Times report that China cut off the ability to receive Gmail on smartphones through third-party
email services like Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. This excessive control over email and

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Internet traffic is the slowing down of legitimate commerce, and that "is not something in
Chinas best interest, said James Zimmerman, chairman of the American Chamber of
Commerce in China. This effects the Chinese citizens ability to promote the sharing of
information and prosper by building new companies and conducting international business
outside the realm of CCP control. This once circumventing of the CCP created a sense of loss of
information control for the Chinese Communists Government and with it part of its citizenry.
In fact since the inception of the telecommunication industry within China, the CCP has
maintain 100% ownership and control China Mobile and China Unicom, the largest and only
providers in China. China Mobile manages over 557 Million subscribers, and is censored by
The Great Firewall of China and, as reported by The Telegraph, also monitors over 107
Billion text messages a day for content against the State. This also points to and includes any
foreigner texting while conducting business in China allowing the state to intercept and read
private and sensitive business content used for negotiations against the same companies and
individuals. The consistent monitoring of text messages and voice discussions provides an
unparalleled economic advantage to the Chinese government by accessing insider information on
all private and public business conducted within China thereby artificially manipulating their
economy, stock market, and foreign stock markets by insider trading information.
In addition, aaccording to the Human Rights Watch World Report of 2015, and as
reported by the Financial Times, the Chinese ruling CCP targeted the Internet and mobile
applications with additional restrictions in 2014 such as targeting WeChat, a popular instant
messaging, by closing popular public accounts that report and comment on current internal
affairs. The CCP also suspended popular foreign instant messaging services including Kakao
Talk, because the Kakoa Talk was being used for distributing terrorism-related information.

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However no verifiable proof was ever supplied despite the claim. The censorship and
suspensions of the popular messaging sites, particularly those of open public information, was an
informational control threat to the CCP and therefore curtailed.
The CCP's obvious mobile and internet censorship was again brought to light in a 2012
Reporters Without Boarders (RWB) Enemies of Internet, Special Edition: Surveillance report.
This report stated that Skype, one of the worlds most popular Internet telephone platforms, is
altered for use and closely monitored within China. The Chinese-language version of Skype,
known as TOM-Skype, is different from versions in other countries. In order to conform to the
restrictions imposed by the government, TOM-Skype software is equipped with an automatic
filter not only used to detect certain keywords in text chat, but also monitor, trigger and store
everyday conversations within the governments data empire. Simply a senders or recipients
name can in itself trigger the interception and storage of a conversation. This Voice Over IP
(VOIP) monitoring and conversational storage removed the ability for free speech and limits
expression of dissent state discussions. Subsequent reports now indicate that China will prevent
TOM-Skype calls between certain individuals and countries. However, as a result of this
censorship and monitoring by the Chinese government, there are today 90 journalists and internet
bloggers who have been arrested and are imprisoned.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censorship also extends beyond internet
bloggers to limiting local and international internet content and accessibility thereby
manipulating and controlling the knowledge and actions of its citizenry. The CCP censors and
punishes any individual who might spark collective action against the state (CCP) by using such
internet media as instant messaging services and blogging. The CCP owns and controls the
internet backbone in China which initially was made up of 4 national networks; CTNET,

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Chinanet, Cernet and CHINAGBN. These 4 networks, have been subsequently restructured into
todays China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile are all under the controls of the CCP.
The CCP maintains five (5) departments that are directly involved in censoring and monitoring
the Web:
1. The Internet Affairs Bureau and the Centre for the Study of Public Opinion of the State
Council Information Office
2. The Internet Bureau and the Information and Public Opinion Bureau of the Publicity
Department (formerly the Propaganda Department).
3. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
4. The Internet Information Security Supervision of the Ministry of Public Security
5. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technologys Internet Illegal Information
Reporting Center
The above departments, along with the CCP's provincial censors, issue secret directives
daily to website administrators on forbidding or restricting topics such as the escape from house
arrest for activist Chen Guangchengs, the 2011 anniversary of a fatal train crash, and foreign
media reports on the extraordinary wealth of members of Premier Wen Jiabaos family.
To further provide evidence of internet censorship, according to Freedom House, a 1941
US Government established NGO, the Chinese government has developed the worlds most
sophisticated and multilayered apparatus for censoring, monitoring, and manipulating online
content. Nationwide technical filtering, known as The Great Firewall of China, restricts users
access to uncensored information hosted outside of China. One of the most prevalent functions
of filtering has been to permanently block applications like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Popular Chinese domestically grown applications have replaced these sites but the owning firms
are legally liable for content posted by all users. For fear of being shut down or thrown in jail,

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each firm employs automated programs and thousands of human censors to screen usergenerated content and delete relevant posts per CCP directives. One academic censorship study
across nearly 1,400 blog-hosting and bulletin-board platforms estimated that 13 percent of posts
were deleted.
Additionally, on January 29th, 2015 The New York Times reported that China had
instituted new excessive regulations that would force foreign technology and telecom companies
to give the government back doors to their hardware and software and require them to store
data within China. This unprecedented requirement allows the CCP to engage in total content
filtering and control across China. Western business owners have been complaining about their
inability to gain access to many Google services in China since the summer of 2014 as these
services have been cut off by the Chinese government in order to control internet and social
media information. Additionally, Lu Wei, the new Chinese Internet Czar and former propaganda
official appointed by President Xi Jinping, has been unapologetic in promoting the notion that
China has the right to block a wide array of online content. This is direct conflict to the Chinese
governments stated policy and position according to the Information Office of the State Council
of the Republic of China, The Internet in China policy.
China of course disputes that they block an array of online content for censorship. In fact,
they argue that China's government controls the flow of information to maintain and control
internet security, national security, economic stability, and social unrest. In a white paper
published by the Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, the
Chinese government "encourages the use of the Internet in ways which aim to promote economic
and social progress, to improve public services and facilitate people's work and life, and steps up
its efforts to build a well-structured and balanced use of the Internet, improves its advancement

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and application." Additionally, the Chinese government also claims to promote open use of the
internet, and its use in the advancement of society. Although they claim that their control helps
China's economic advancement, as previously stated, the chairman of the American Chamber of
Commerce in China has said "This excessive control over email and Internet traffic is the
slowing down of legitimate commerce, and that is not something in Chinas best interest." The
statistics China presents in its segment about computer hacking are insubstantial if compared to
the actual population of the country.
In the same white paper from the Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples
Republic of China has also stated that "China is one of the countries suffering most from
hacking. According to incomplete statistics, more than one million IP addresses in China were
controlled from overseas in 2009, 42,000 websites were distorted by hackers, 18 million Chinese
computers are infected by the Conficker virus every month, about 30% of the computers infected
globally. It also claims that one million users IPs were controlled in 2009, however when
calculated out, that number makes up less than .01% of its population. In addition, its statistic
about the Conficker virus is simply incorrect. Multiple sources confirm that the virus infected no
more than 15 million computers in its entire lifespan. Therefore, it is simply impossible for 18
million of China's computers to become infected every month.
The Chinese Communist Party claims to use the Internet in ways which aim to promote
economic and social progress without censorship. However, we know that 1.72 billion Chinese
people effectively experience some type of internet, news and mobile censorship daily. This is
result of the Chinese Communist Party creating and controlling the "Great Firewall of China",
the world's largest and most intricate censorship system on the planet. It also controls all TV and
Mobile communications infrastructure within China which has given rise to an incredible

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internet, news media, and mobile censorship. This censorship directly violates the UN Articles of
free speech and the Chinese citizens rights to communicate, share, and view information freely,
of which should not be censored by the government in its attempt to maintain control of the
opinion of the people .

Citations

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Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
"World Report 2015: China." Human Rights Watch. N.p., 09 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
Jacobs, Andrew. "China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet." The New York Times. The New
York Times, 29 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
Malcolm Moore in Shanghai and Peter Foster in Beijing. "China Begins Monitoring Billions of
Text Messages as Censorship Increases." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, n.d. Web. 08
Nov. 2015.
"China Tightens Censorship on Mobile Messaging Apps - FT.com."Financial Times. N.p., n.d.
Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
"China." The Enemies of Internet. N.p., 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
"Media Control in China: A Model of Complexity and Thoroughness."Media Control in China:
A Model of Complexity and Thoroughness. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
"The Internet in China - China.org.cn." The Internet in China - China.org.cn. N.p., n.d. Web. 08
Nov. 2015.