Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hi, my name is John and I am a student at Guilford College. For my Computer Ethics project, I wanted to discuss about the "Great Firewall of China". For a nice general idea about Internet Censorship in China, here is a link to Wikipedia that gives a brief summary about legislative basis of Internet Censorship in China.

 Just to give everyone an idea, I found this website that actually tests whether or not you are able to view a specific website within Mainland China. Here is the link:

Feel free to try out any website.

Now here is some news articles about the Google and the Internet Censorship in China. Here are the links:

Google offering tips to help Chinese to steer clear of the Firewall

Google and the Great Firewall: An Interesting New Twist:

There has been much debate regarding internet censorship and how it infringes the rights of citizens when government regulate and control what information their people can or cannot view. On March 22, 2010, the Google company pull the search engine out of China due to the difficulties the company had with the government's internet censorship policies. Here is the article:

The majority of the Chinese people in Mainland China do not have access to site that many other people of world can access like for example. Though as a previous article mentions, there have been ways to move around the internet filters and firewalls and I have seen it happened while studying abroad in China. Though the number is in a "privileged few". Now westerners believe that this level of internet censorship is wrong and that  no country  should put that much restriction(s) on its citizens. However, it is important to note that the culture perspectives in China is very different in comparison to the Europe and North America. Let's try tackle some questions:

1. With this is mind, who has the right to control what people see on the Internet? Does it create barriers between two cultures that may result in some misunderstandings on both sides?

2. A student provided an interesting example of conflict between two different businesses on different countries. This is where a person helping to create instructions for a new technology and says that this procedure is the way to do it, we do it this only way because it is the best way. They are sharing this information with a new group, country, government, or corporation. The organization disagrees because they want to use this a particular technology a manner to they see fit their needs. In other words, they want to do it their way. The person offering their help then gets frustrated with the difficulties of the corporation, resulting in the withdrawal from the business deal. From these conservations, which side do you agree or disagree with. The person trying to offer help or the group trying to use the technology the way they see fits their needs? Is one or the other side trying to be dominant in their business deal?

3. Is there is a possibility that China may feel a sense of cultural imperialism when viewing the Internet or that it could possibly bring conflict in their country? In other words, could the end of the firewall bring significant cultural changes in the nation and change the ideologies of the Chinese population?

4. In your opinion, what rights do you think any person should have with the Internet? Are their certain restrictions on the web that you think should be implemented? Do you think that the responsibilities of Internet surfing based on the individual or the community? Should any institution, country, or government have the authority to regulate what their citizens can view on sites like Google?

5. Personally, do you think there is way that the Chinese Communist Government will be willing to compromise and allow more citizens have broader access to the Internet? If yes, what do you think the policies and compromises that can be made to allow less restrictions to access to the Internet? If no, what evidence (culture, business, government, concerns of power struggle in the country) shows that the People's Republic of China may not want to allow such freedom for its citizens in the Global Internet?

6. How do you think the Great Firewall of China will end? What possibilities could happen to bring an end to Chinese censorship to the Internet?

These are very difficult question with no right and wrong answers. Please feel free to share any links, news, videos, and other information. Remember, be happy with the privilege of, for now, not having so much internet restrictions by government. That was a joke. Thank you for your participation!