chapter  9
Propaganda
Pages 17

T he internet has been welcomed as the ultimate releaser of information and enabler offree speech but governments have moved as best they can to regulate the flow andexclude what they deem unacceptable, whether it is child pornography in the West or political dissidence in the East. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has said that ‘all forms of government ultimately are not going to succeed in trying to control or censor the Internet’, but many are making a significant attempt so to do. China, with the fastest-growing media industry in the world, employs over 30,000 people to police the net and eradicate any mention of forbidden subjects such as Taiwanese independence, the Dalai Lama’s campaign to free Tibet or the 1989 student massacre in Tiananmen Square. President Clinton famously once said that trying to control the net was ‘like nailing Jello to the wall’. The Open Net Initiative, based at the Harvard Law School, produced a comprehensive survey of China’s mastery of the art of Jello-nailing in Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study:

China’s Internet filtering regime is the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world. Compared to similar efforts in other states, China’s filtering regime is pervasive, sophisticated, and effective. It comprises multiple levels of legal regulation and technical control. It involves numerous state agencies and thousands of public and private personnel. It censors content transmitted through multiple methods, including Web pages, Web logs, online discussion forums, university bulletin board systems, and email messages.1