Controlling the internet for the most populous country in the world is not a small task. There is a technological boom worldwide and people now can connect to the world through social media. At this time, country like China has blocked thousands of websites and also put heavy restrictions on destinations such as YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia. But, why? Well, the government does have some valid reasons behind it.
To Maintain Internet Sovereignty:
No doubt that Chinese government wants to control the internet to maintain its sovereignty. There are some regulations on media and press to make sure they wouldn’t tell anything to Chinese people that the government has been hiding. It may sound a violence of freedom of speech but you can understand how dangerous it could be if freedom of speech is not controlled. So, the government is doing it so that they could avoid any internal and external threat in national peace.
As the technology getting smarter day by day, so are the cyber criminals. You may already know about the Panama papers, the leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide thorough information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca. China’s internet firewall controls the country’s internet activity and also banned thousands of websites including Facebook, Google etc. The government did it to prevent the cyber attack from outside country as well as from inside. Also, the country has censorship on internet so that no data can be breached, which is essential to main national security.
To Benefit Domestic Manufacturers and Programmers:
Don’t think China has censored the internet that means they are not technologically sound. The country has its own search engine and social media. And interestingly, China’s social media landscape is arguably the most exciting, dynamic and unique. They have their own social media named Sina Weibo and search engine named Baidu. As they are not dependent any foreign websites, it gives their native programmers to manufacture their own. And, surely those websites are more secured and less vulnerable, which is also economically wise.
As an individual this censorship may not be appreciated. Undoubtedly, this censorship is violating people’s freedom of speech and right to gain knowledge. If anyone ever visits to China, he/she will be in a big trouble while browsing as most of the websites are blocked. This can be a problem for those offshore companies doing business in China. However, the country says this censorship only protects national security and does not discriminate against foreign companies. However, if you think as a government, it’s actually a better option to maintain your state’s security and peace.