t Zhong Guo, Middle Kingdom
These new rules are a worry; signally an ever more vigilant web police. I wonder if it has something to do with the recent Yahoo! story and also the blogger's handbook. As you can see on Glutter, the news of this issue is exponential in the last week compared to the last month.
These are different in terms as it's no longer laws that are aimed at organizations but individuals closing up and legal loophole and making the stance of the government very clear and concise. These are rules aimed directly at normal people, with blogs and flickr groups like many of us. Personally, I know from today forth, and as long as Glutter exists, I will be in effect handing over my Chinese visa to my Central Government, and will not be crossing over the borders again until major political changes and huge reforms take place. It's a sad day for me personally, and an extremely worrying for my counterparts within the mainland.
The concept of Glutter when it started two years ago was to tell a personal story about the democratic movement in Hong Kong. How the events of the larger world affects one person. I had hoped to make the "news" that we read become "real" and relevant to others by making the political into the personal. I never envisioned this site would ever make such an impact in my "real" life to the point I feel I am no longer safe to travel within the wider borders of my own country.... I wish my country was free. Especially with my new studies in Chinese painting and calligraphy there is so much more to discover and learn. I loved being in greater China. There is 4500 years of art history that I do not know enough about.
September 27th 2005
The 11 commandments of the Internet in China
"You shall not spread rumours", "You shall not damage state security", "You shall not destroy the country's reputation" There are just three of the 11 commandments ordered by Beijing, on 25 September, aimed at bloggers and websites managers.
Reporters Without Borders expressed concern at this latest turn of the screw in an ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression.
"The Chinese authorities never seem to let up on their desire to regulate the Web and their determination to control information available on it ever more tightly," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
"These new rules, announced with a fanfare by the official media, are certainly more intended to frighten Internet-users than to codify the use of the Net," it said. "In fact there is nothing really new in these 11 commandments, which simply repeat that the party has the monopoly of the dissemination of information and that the media's task is not to be objective but to relay state propaganda.
"These moves to filter the Internet are nevertheless a sign that the Internet frightens those in power, in particular during a period of ever greater social unrest. It's noticeable that the only new elements in the text relate to banning the calling of strikes or gatherings though the Net," it said.
The new rules, ordered by the state council information bureau and ministry of industry and information, are aimed at bringing into line all previous such edicts. According to the Chinese daily Beijing news (thebeijingnews.com), it contains 11 subjects forbidden to online editors.
They are banned from putting out news that:
-. violates the basic principles of the Chinese constitution:
-. endangers national security, leaks national secrets, seeks to overthrow the government, endangers the unification of the country;
-. destroys the country's reputation and benefits;
-. arouses national feelings of hatred, racism, and endangers racial unification;
-. violates national policies on religion, promotes the propaganda of sects and superstition; [Reporters Without Borders note: More than 30 members of the spiritual Falungong movement are currently behind bars for posting news on the Internet]
- diffuses rumours, endangers public order and creates social uncertainty;
- diffuses information that is pornographic, violent, terrorist or linked to gambling;
-. libels or harms people's reputation, violates people's legal rights;
- includes illegal information bounded by law and administrative rules.
Two completely new bans have been added to the nine rules above:
- It is forbidden to encourage illegal gatherings, strikes, etc to create public disorder;
- It is forbidden to organise activities under illegal social associations or organisations.
Websites that break these new rules will be shut down and those running them will have to pay a fine that could reach 30,000 yuans (3,000 euros).
Reporters Without Borders points out that 62 people are currently imprisoned in China for having posted articles on the Internet that the authorities deemed to be "subversive".
China tightens noose with new Web rules
New Chinese regulations governing Internet news content tighten the noose on freewheeling bloggers and aim to rein in the medium that is a growing source of information for the mainland's more than 100 million users.
Analysts say the rules issued by the Ministry of Information Industry on Sunday will not change much for authorized, licensed news outlets -- already under the thumb of state control -- but will extend controls to blogs and Internet-only news sites.....
"This is aimed at bloggers and other individual and ad hoc journalists that are out there and that don't have a licensed organization."
....The rules also widen a campaign to step up control over the Internet that includes forcing bloggers and chat-room participants to use their real names and restricting university on-line discussion groups to students. The full article
China toughens rules on Internet news, targets civil society
New restrictions on Internet news content in China are aimed at controlling an increasingly independent society that is demanding more rights protections, reports and analysts said.
The new rules issued Sunday by the State Council, China's cabinet, require Internet operators to re-register their news sites and police their sites for content that can "endanger state security" and "social order."
China already requires all websites and all users of Internet cafes to register before using the Internet, while major websites have signed on to a code of conduct to keep unauthorized content off the web.
....According to the Beijing News, the new rules are especially aimed at controlling China's fledgling civil society and curbing thousands of protests that have erupted around the nation in recent years.
"The Internet has been banned from inciting illegal protests," the paper said in a front-page headline Monday.
Social unrest over government corruption, land requisition policies, police brutality and a wide assortment of civil rights issues has increasingly been aired and disseminated on the Internet.
According to the paper, which published excerpts of the new rules, the regulations are no different from provisional regulations issued in 2000, except for two new items aimed at controlling civil society.
"Internet news shall not include content that ... incites illegal gatherings, associations, marches, demonstrations and crowds to harm social order," one newly added item says.
"Internet news shall not include content that ... aids illegal civil organizations to hold activities," was the other.
Nicolas Becquelin, the Hong Kong-based director of Human Rights in China, said the new rules were aimed at making Internet operators in China censor themselves and reflected the government's concern with the technology.
"Basically the content of the regulations are already in the criminal law, state security law and other laws that already prevent any information that is not approved from being circulated," Becquelin told AFP.
"But the new regulations also tell us that the state is afraid of an increasingly burgeoning independent civil society using modern Internet technology to organize."
....Chinese Internet news providers expressed concerns over the new rules but refused to discuss them, apparently for fear of government retaliation.
"We have seen the regulation but so far it is not convenient to talk about this. We will operate in accordance with the regulations," Full article