U.S concerned about China's internet controls

Updated On: Jun 23, 2009

Over the past week, the Americans and the Chinese have found themselves at opposite sides regarding freedom of expression and the flow of information. The Chinese government have just introduced an internet filtering software which is to be sold with computers in China. The conflict arises from the uncomfortable position which American computer companies find themselves in when faced with a different value system.  The “freedom of speech” conscious American computer companies are ill at ease with the concept of aiding the Chinese government in an effort to quell the current of information. The Chinese however, claim that this device is not meant to control every part of the user’s internet access, it is solely meant as an anti-pornography control. Furthermore, China has clarified that uploading the software, known as Green Dam Youth Escort, is optional. The United States however, is still faced with a dilemma. While continuing trade in all sectors is important to them, American computer companies do not want to be seen as part of an agenda which is in stark contrast to the principles which Americans have taken care to guard and spread with great gusto. Despite the disapproval it has met, China has announced that it plans to go ahead with the deadline by which computers must be sold with the software. While China is adamant that the software is needed in order to restrict users’ access to violent and pornographic website, some Chinese internet users have called on others to stay offline in protest.

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