"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Communists push for more control of the internet

Communism in Action.
Up to 10 years in prison for spreading "false" information

Blogging is not a crime  -  The power of Blogging has frightened to death corrupt political elites from Saudi Arabia to America to China.  The fascists of the world cannot stand the idea that the common man now owns his own Internet printing press and can speak out against authoritarianism.

Communist China's leaders have accelerated a renewed push for control of the Internet with draconian new regulations that allow them to impose lengthy jail terms on those convicted of spreading online rumors or using social media to provoke unrest.

The proliferation of Twitter-like social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, which has more than 500 million users, has posed a challenge to the CPC’s control over information, with microblogs increasingly shaping public discourse in China.

Micro-bloggers who peddle "false information" or "slanderous comments" will face up to three years in prison, according to a judicial interpretation issued by China's top court which came into force on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, those found guilty of using "false online information" to provoke "serious public disorder", could face jail terms of up to 10 years, the state-run China Daily reported.

Charges would be brought if "defamatory" comments were "viewed by at least 5,000 Internet users or re-tweeted 500 or more times", according to China's official news agency Xinhua reports the UK Telegraph.

Sun Jungong, a spokesman for the Supreme People's Court and Procuratorate, said the interpretation was aimed at rumor mongers who "gravely harmed social order or the national interest" by "causing a mass incident, disturbing public order and inciting ethnic and religious conflicts."

"Some internet users fabricate rumors about others and create false information while making use of sensitive social issues, which has disrupted social order and triggered mass incidents," he said, according to Xinhua.

While state media said the new rules were "timely" and "another means for authorities to ensure the healthy development of the Internet", freedom of speech activists and some lawyers expressed alarm at the move.

Mo Shaoping, a leading human rights lawyers, said he hoped the measures would help prevent "absurd" cases such as one where a micro-blogger was arrested for tweeting that nine people had died in an accident when, in fact, the true number was only seven.

"[But] if not handled properly, this might have negative effect on freedom of speech and the online fight against corruption," he added. "I believe that in the near future online free speech and the exposure of corruption will be suppressed."

Yuan Yulai, another rights lawyer who has over 1.3 million followers on China's Twitter-like microblog Weibo, complained that the interpretation had been published "too hastily" and without public consultation.

The ongoing crackdown had "caused some panic" among micro-bloggers, he added. "I believe this is happening because the party and government are not used to the idea of a free society [or] democracy."

Writing on the Tech in Asia website, Charlie Custer, a China-focused blogger and commentator, said he feared "the new laws will be used to cow social media users into silence, and probably also used as a weapon for well-connected people to attack political or business rivals, rather than as a way of enforcing any actual standard of truth online."

The Chinese president Xi Jinping recently instructed Communist Party propaganda officials to "wage a war to win over public opinion" and "seize" control of new media, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported last week.

Tighter Internet Control for China with New Internet Regulator



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