China has rebuffed Google’s and the US’ requests that it consider its internet policy, with spokesmen referring to the recent criticism directed at China as “groundless accusations.”
Word comes from the BBC of the response from China after the furore kicked up by Google, after seeing a series attack from the country, ceasing to censor searches made by its Chinese users. Indeed, all of this seems to come on the back of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, requested that China investigate the attack launched on Google, going on to request that it change its current policy on the internet.
Perhaps most interesting about the whole thing though, is the manner in which the official response from the state-controlled Chinese press has been that, “The US campaign for uncensored and free flow of information on an unrestricted internet is a disguised attempt to impose its values on other cultures in the name of democracy.” It’s an interesting point to make, especially considering the fact that many won’t have considered it, but it does make a certain kind of sense.
The fact is that there are startlingly few different approaches to the internet, with most favouring the model built on the idea that everyone should be free to share as much as they like (or more, depending on how closely they’re willing to real End User License Agreements), comment on whatever they want and have whatever content they might like open to them.
If we’re to take that reading of the situation, then China’s somewhat more closed approach to the internet, and its censorship of information, is just that – another approach to the internet.
Strange stuff all around really.