Consensus: the “Internet Information Office”

Via Enorth (Tianjin) — The People’s Daily (人民日报) reiterates the role of the internet for scientific development and its role in public life:

The development of the internet and its management complement each other, development requires management, and management serves good and fast development. […] As the country with the largest number of internet users worldwide, more than one third of the populations have now “touched upon the internet” (“触网”). It has become an essential part of new kinds of work, life, pasttime, education methods, and an important way for people to get news and to express their views. The rapid development of the Chinese internet (中国互联网的快速发展) has benefitted from the policies of reform and opening, from China’s sustained economic and social development, from international advanced technology and experience, and also from the Chinese government’s vigorous policies of promoting  the internet’s development.

However, as some internet experts (or scholars, 一些互联网学者) remind us, “every technology or science has a dark side, too” (“每一种技术或科学的馈赠都有其黑暗面”). In the process, some negative and negative (消极、负面的) contents are also featuring prominently.

In short: vulgarity, spreading rumours, a small amount of “violent internet behavior” (少数“网络暴力”行为突破法律底线), etc. The article refers to censorship (not naming it as such) as a consensus:

“Civilized handling of the internet, civilized surfing of the internet” (“文明办网、文明上网”)  has become the consensus of the internet industry and numerous internet users (成为互联网业界和广大网民的共识).

With that, the article returns to the issue of internet management, to firmly grasp the correct direction of building the internet culture (牢牢把握网络文化建设的正确方向).

The article itself doesn’t go into further detail, but Tianjin Online (天津网, also via Enorth) did, one day earlier, on Thursday. An Internet Information Office with the State Council (国家互联网信息办公室) is going to take care of the daily footnotes.

It will guide, coordinate, and supervise relevant departments in their strengthening of internet information content management (指导、协调、督促有关部门加强互联网信息内容管理), guide relevant departments in supervising and encouraging operating companies (指导有关部门督促电信运营企业), take care of the structure of the internet, IP address allocation, and lots of other useful things. The Internet Information Office is no independent agency, notes Tianjin Online, but will be part of the State Council Information Office.

Jordan Pouille, a correspondent in China, noted the arrival of this newly-born agency on Wednesday, while the rest of the world (this blogger included) was mostly busy with counting the bullets in bin-Laden’s head.

Chinese media have more recently moved towards advocating censorship, rather than somewhat bashfully hiding it under terms of spiritual hygiene. Huanqiu Shibao, frequently more outspoken than other papers, but not only very directly under the guidance of the propaganda department (as are all publications) but actually state-owned, even suggested that Chinese netizens should simply tolerate censorship (from a perspective of integral national interest) and China’s cultural elites should actually advocate censorship.

The two articles above could mark a return to a somewhat less aggressive propaganda approach. Huanqiu Shibao itself notes that the decision to establish the Internet Information Office had been met with positive reactions (without specifying the sources of such reactions). However, Huanqiu did ask an unnamed person in charge at the new office some questions (记者就此采访了国家互联网信息办公室负责人) who, in indirect speech, is basically basically quoted with the same information which had been aired by the media one day earlier, on Wednesday.

An additional information is that the masses won’t be disappointed (不辜负广大人民群众的期望). Besides – page 2 of the Huanqiu report quotes the official in charge as saying that

many countries worldwide have passed legislation concerning technology and industrial self-regulation, and the handling (or punishment) of illegal information. This is  common knowledge. (世界上许多国家都通过立法、技术和行业自律等措施,处置违法信息。这是众所周知的事实。)

Internationally, a few people had made remarks about China’s internet management were based on double-standards, irresponsible, and only intended to discredit China:



» Internet Freedom is Cyberwarfare, April 1, 2011

3 Responses to “Consensus: the “Internet Information Office””

  1. Come on JT, you know this is only about protecting the impressionable from seeing porn, violence, lolcats and other foreign infections . . .



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