Information suppression is all the rage with some folks these days. And China, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State, is leading the way.
(From Foreign Policy)
But, practically speaking, China has already found the perfect level of control. Businesses, technicians, scientists, and others who need to connect with the outside world have access — with enough slowdowns and shutdowns to remind them who is in charge. Ordinary people are shut off, but the Chinese internet itself is sufficiently large, entertaining, and useful for most people, despite it being completely under the thumb of Beijing. The flourishing, critical online world of 2011 has been neutered, with its most vocal advocates jailed or silenced.
Yet the shockwave of paranoia triggered by the Arab Spring and the Euromaidan uprising in Ukraine still resonates inside the Chinese system six years on.
There’s no doubt Chinese officials have been reading, and studying, the methods used in the “networked protests” there and in other increasingly autocratic states like Turkey. The key to these protests has been twofold: widespread social networks and easy mobile access to them. This is what China is setting out to target, not only by shutting down VPNs but by increasing control and monitoring of domestic social media.
Good thing we don’t have anyone who would like to control social media in this country. Whew…