On Tuesday, a senior-level Chinese official acknowledged that the country uses a technologically sophisticated firewall to block “harmful information” from being distributed over the Internet, but defended the measure, saying it’s not much different than the controls used in Europe and the United States, the International Herald Tribune reports.
Liu Zhengrong, supervisor of Internet affairs for the information office of the Chinese State Council, noted repeatedly that Chinese efforts to control the Web were overblown in recent media coverage. He said that many of the laws governing Chinese Internet users were modeled after American and European regulations, the International Herald Tribune reports.
“If you study the main international practices in this regard you will find that China is basically in compliance with the international norm,” Liu said in a briefing. “The main purposes and methods of implementing our laws are basically the same.”
Liu named pornography as a main cause of Chinese censorship, and noted that its concerns about this type of material are very different than in other developed countries, the International Herald Tribune reports.
China has come under fire in recent weeks for its efforts to censor content on Microsoft’s MSN Spaces site, and Google’s Chinese language search site, Google.cn. For more on the subject, read Microsoft Shuts Down Chinese Blogger, Google Will Censor Chinese Web Searches, U.S. Lawmaker Battles Chinese Internet Censorship and Firms Ask Gov’t to Stand Against Censorship.
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