Monday, June 22, 2009

U.S. Lays Down the Smack on Chinese Censorship

After July 1, all PCs imported and sold in China will have to come with the Internet filtering software Green Dam pre-installed, according to a new Chinese law. After years of human rights violations, heavy censorship, a hostile attitude toward free media, and a general disregard for the basic values of a liberty-based society, this move from the Chinese government is apparently the last straw for an angry United States, which has unleashed a furious...diplomatic rebuke. Officials from the U.S. embassy in Beijing sent a letter to the Chinese government saying America views this kind of censorship with "concern". Green Dam is only supposed to filter pornographic content (like my Chairman Mao fisting portraits, I'm assuming), but anyone with even a passing knowledge of Chinese history is a bit suspicious that an official government filtering program could be used to keep all sorts of information from the eyes of Chinese citizens. But even though the current web-organized resistance against Iran's ruling regime is ultimately a moot movement (young people eager for reform are being played by an "opposition" candidate who will only take power with the consent of a cabal of murderous mullahs), it has proven that a country's citizenry is always a few steps ahead of its oppressive government when it comes to technology. You can bet that any Chinese person interested in the free flow of information already knows how to circumvent Green Dam. And if you are one of those people, please take a moment to browse my collection of Chairman Mao fisting portraits. They offer a little something for everyone. Well, everyone who likes fisting. More details here.