Marketplace Scratch Pad

The Big Bad Web

Scott Jagow Mar 24, 2009

Today, China’s Foreign ministry said it is not afraid of the Internet, even though Google says for some reason, people in China haven’t been able to access YouTube all day.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry said he didn’t know about YouTube being blocked, but responded to reporters this way:

“Many people have a false impression that the Chinese government fears the Internet. In fact it is just the opposite… China’s internet is open enough, but also needs to be regulated by law in order to prevent the spread of harmful information and for national security.”

In this case, the culprit appears to be the video of Tibetan protester being beaten to death. China’s official news agency says the video is a fake and was pieced together from different places by the Dalai Lama.

Most Chinese still think the government should censor the internet, although there are certainly flouters in their midst.

I like the way one Chinese blogger quoted in a NY Times story put it: “It is like a water flow — if you block one direction, it flows to other directions, or overflows.”

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