China defends internet policy

NYT:

Chinese authorities are determined to stop “harmful information” from spreading through the Internet, but the controls it places on Web sites and Internet service providers in mainland China do not differ much from those employed by the United States and European countries, a senior Chinese official responsible for managing the Internet said today.

[…]

“If you study the main international practices in this regard you will find that China is basically in compliance with the international norm,” he said. “The main purposes and methods of implementing our laws are basically the same.”

The briefing was one of the few times any senior official has spoken in detail about China’s management of the Internet. Officials assigned to enforce the government’s media controls operate behind closed doors and rarely make public statements about their work.

[…]

Mr. Liu said the major thrust of the Chinese effort to regulate content on the Web was aimed at preventing the spread of pornography or other content harmful to teenagers and children. He said that its concerns in this area differ minimally from those in developed countries.

I’m not about to defend China’s policy… but wouldn’t it be nice if, just once, the USA had an unambiguous moral high ground to stand on? Note the highlighted reasoning.

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