“Protecting social order” by policing the net?

“It is our duty to wipe out information that does public harm and disrupts social order,” the newspaper quoted the bureau’s deputy chief of Internet surveillance, Zhao Hongzhi, as saying.

He said the virtual police officers would protect “netizens” from harm.

Users will be able to click on the icons to connect to the bureau’s Internet Surveillance Centre, where they can report illegal activities, Mr Zhao said.

A story on BBC has an interesting twist to China’s reprehensible censorship of the Internet and web. The argument does not hold water – a State interested in strengthening human security (by protecting its citizens from harm) should in fact endorse the free flow of information.

Restrictions on information, such as the unofficial censorship of Tamilnet in Sri Lanka, only serve to raise the profile of the website so banned and point to a larger, systemic problem of a regime that seeks to control what it’s citizens should and should not think, consume and believe.

See also:
Citizen Journalism and humanitarian aid: Bane or boon?
Web censorship growing: Cause for alarm?
The limits of online freedom and activism?

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