Chinese Govt. Seeks To Control Web For 50th Anniversary

The publicity arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s
Central Committee has called upon all government departments and ministries to
increase vigilance and control over information on the Web, according to Ming Pao, a Hong Kong Chinese
language daily.

A source of Ming Pao said that the government sought to tighten control
over Internet content because this year would be the 10th anniversary of the
June 4th Tiananman Crackdown and the 80th anniversary of the May Fourth
Movement, two very sensitive and destabilizing dates in Chinese history

Most importantly, Beijing hopes to maintain a “positive” atmosphere this year,
particularly since 1 October would be the 50th anniversary of the founding of
the People’s Republic.

One political analyst said that the Chinese authorities will attempt to monitor
Internet usage by screening files that are downloaded or uploaded to the Web to
prevent dissemination of what they deem is destabilizing material.

Although China has an estimated 2.1 million users, the majority of access is
through ‘danweis,’ work units in organizations or private companies, which
allegedly makes it easier to monitor Web usage.

According to the Ming Pao article, Chinese officials have even gone as
far as to declare that online discussion of the Clinton scandal should be
prohibited.

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