Home What One Chinese Blogger Said About SOPA/PIPA

What One Chinese Blogger Said About SOPA/PIPA

Pro-Internet freedom Americans aren’t the only ones who got pumped up about this Wednesday’s Internet blackout day.

The L.A. Times reports that Chinese Internet users praised American Internet users for taking action against their own government. Wen Yunchao, a prominent Chinese blogger and government critic who left the mainland for Hong Kong, says that China’s Great Firewall, which was initially about stopping online piracy and pornography, quickly became about Internet censorship of websites and content. Critics of SOPA/PIPA say that it would, in effect, do the same thing to the Internet in America.

Online activists, the tech press and the mainstream media jumped on SOPA/PIPA, as it quickly became a mainstream issue. This is not how it would have gone down in China.

“In China, all the government decisions are done in a dark box,” said Wen. “No one knows what’s going on. There’s never any legal reason cited. If these laws are passed in the U.S., every step of the way it will be more transparent. People can challenge it. There’s no comparison when it comes to censorship in China and in the U.S.”

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is delaying Tuesday’s scheduled Senate vote on SOPA/PIPA. Reid still supports the anti-piracy bill, stating in a tweet that he does believe PROTECT IP raises “legitimate issues” regarding online counterfeiting and piracy.

China’s History of Internet Censorship

China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Analysts believe that China’s economy could overtake the U.S. by 2019. It is also one of the most highly censored countries in terms of the Internet. Political censorship, also known as the “Great Firewall of China,” is built into every layer of China’s Internet infrastructure.

China blocked access to social networks Facebook and Twitter after Chinese hackers attempted to steal Google’s company code and hack into Gmail accounts. Google shutdown many of its mainland China operations shortly thereafter, routing many of its users to Hong Kong.

Google returned to China nearly two years after the censorship battle.

The country currently has 500 million Internet users.

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