Those who control
For they prevent disorder
By protecting the cyber border.
Who needs Mill
When you can shop
As you will.
And the chop does fall
On those who look beyond the Chinese wall.
On BBC Radio 4’s “The World Tonight”, which was broadcast on Thursday 3 August, an interviewer asked a number of Chinese people what they thought of their country’s heavily restricted internet. (In China Twitter, Facebook and Google are banned and government approved channels are utilised by those wishing to go online). A few chinese do bypass blocking by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNS) and other similar services, however the majority of the Chinese population search for information and interact online using the approved (government) channels.
None of those interviewed criticised censorship. Indeed one interviewee went so far as to say that he approved of it, as the government needs to prevent disorder.
The interviews took place in a public park, which cause me to wonder whether all those being interviewed would have been quite so supportive of the Chinese Wall had the questioning taken place in private.
While I have visited China, I did not go online while there so have no experience of the great cyber wall surrounding that country.