The Internet and China
Extra Credit Assignment (Up to 15 points)
Government censorship is blocking or filtering of the Internet at the national level. Several countries (usually ones with authoritarian governments) may try to restrict, or even cut off Internet in their country. This is possible because for many countries there is one or two Internet backbones that bring connectivity to the world across the country’s borders. This is done for several reasons: to keep the citizens cut off from the rest of the world; to control information coming in and out of the country; to impede unrest or turmoil in the country. Living in the “anything goes” Internet experienced in the United States, this seems to be very strange, but it continues to be a growing problem.
China is one of the most populous countries in the world. The Chinese government also takes many steps to control the Internet inside China to a great extent. These restrictions are often referred to as the Great Firewall of China and has been controversial for several years. Internet companies are required to abide by the government restrictions or be cut off from having access to and doing business with Chinese citizens. That doesn’t mean that information doesn’t get through, but it is a lot harder for citizens to access unapproved sites.
Open a search engine (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo) and search for Great Firewall of China. Do some research on the issue (view more than one site for information), how it works, its history and future, and what it means for citizens. Open a Word document and answer the following questions in a paper 1-2 pages long.
- Explain what The Great Firewall of China is, and how it works.
- What types of content are blocked?
- What happens if someone searches for a prohibited word or tries to access a blocked webpage?
- Are there ways around the restrictions?
- How has search giant reacted to the restrictions China insists on being put in place for searches?
- Can China continue to maintain the restrictions as the Internet continues to grow and ways to connect evolve and expand?