Lieberman’s Model For America: Purging The Internet of Dissent
The Chinese system has nothing to do with “war” and everything to do with political oppression
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, July 15, 2010
When Senator Joe Lieberman attempted to justify draconian legislation that would provide President Obama with a figurative kill switch to shut down parts of the Internet, he cited the Chinese system of Internet policing as model which America should move towards.
Given the fact that Lieberman seeks to mimic the Chinese system as the goal of his Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, should it concern us that the Chinese government routinely orders Twitter and Facebook-like services to “purge sites of politically “sensitive” words and expressions,” as the Financial Times reports today?
“Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too,” Lieberman told CNN’s Candy Crowley last month.
However, China’s “war” is not against foreign terrorists or hackers, it’s against people who dare to use the Internet to express dissent against government atrocities or corruption. China’s system of Internet policing is about crushing freedom of speech and has nothing to do with legitimate security concerns as Lieberman well knows.
It’s a system concentrated around state oppression of any individual or group that seeks to use the Internet to draw attention to political causes frowned upon by the authorities.
China has exercised its power to shut down the Internet, something that Lieberman wants to introduce in the U.S., at politically sensitive times in order to stem the flow of information about government abuse of its citizens. During the anti-government riots which occurred in July 2009, the Chinese government completely shut down the Internet across the entire northwestern region of Xinjiang for days. In several regions, the authorities completely cut off the Internet for nearly a year, with many areas only now slowly starting to come back online. Major news and discussion portals used by the Muslim Uighurs in the area remain blocked. Similarly, Internet access in parts of Tibet is routinely restricted as part of government efforts to pre-empt and neutralize unrest.