Censorship enforcement regimes on the  Chinese Internet Anders Pedersen Thesis Abstract 16. April 2009 [email_address]
What they used to think <ul><li>“ In the new century, liberty will spread by cell phone and cable modem … Now, there’s no ...
Premises <ul><li>Hangovers following the wave of Internet optimism    The Chinese state has succeeded in imposing censors...
Challenges from current research  <ul><li>Overwhelming empirical documentation on freedom of expression violations </li></...
Where it leaves this study <ul><li>An institutional framework around “enforcement regimes” allows a focus on “how by who” ...
Problem formulering <ul><li>What tools have the Chinese role Chinese state manage to censor the Internet and  </li></ul><u...
Key theoretical perceptions <ul><li>The Internet is a constructed space  </li></ul><ul><li>Internet users can be regulated...
Limitations <ul><li>Self-censorship and panoptical reflections about the Chinese police state </li></ul><ul><li>Circumvent...
Normative approach <ul><li>China doesn’t recognize freedom of expression as defined by the ICCPR, but this this study use ...
Internet as theoretical field <ul><li>Constructed (Lessig) </li></ul><ul><li>Generative – it inherently generates wealth, ...
Structures <ul><li>The socio-economic dynamics of the generative net (incentive for the state) </li></ul><ul><li>The archi...
Agency and agents <ul><li>Gatekeepers at the points of control </li></ul><ul><li>State institutions (enforcement agencies ...
Mechanisms (operationalizing censorship on the Internet) <ul><li>Logging (surveillance of users): privacy </li></ul><ul><l...
Enforcement regimes <ul><li>An ideal type to understand institutional dynamics and public-private relations  </li></ul><ul...
Three enforcement regimes <ul><li>The Great Firewall:  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure: Filtering inside outside going c...
Private-public co-regulation regime within China <ul><li>The state:  </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting voluntary “public ...
Private regime with state influence <ul><li>Filtering of content within private networks such as QQ and Sina </li></ul><ul...
Conclusions <ul><li>The Chinese state applies a varied strategy to reach efficient censorship </li></ul><ul><li>The Chines...
Consequences for human rights strategies <ul><li>CSR offers a framework for challenging the actions of private agencies </...
A role model for other states?  <ul><li>Will the enforcement regimes shaped in China be brought to other countries? </li><...
Questions: <ul><li>Is enforcement regimes too static a model? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the private-public distinction meaningf...
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Censorship Regimes On The Chinese Internet

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Censorship Regimes On The Chinese Internet

  1. 1. Censorship enforcement regimes on the Chinese Internet Anders Pedersen Thesis Abstract 16. April 2009 [email_address]
  2. 2. What they used to think <ul><li>“ In the new century, liberty will spread by cell phone and cable modem … Now, there’s no question China has been trying to crack down on the internet --- good luck. That’s sort of like trying to nail Jello to the wall.”1 (former President of the United States Bill Clinton, 8 March 2000) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Premises <ul><li>Hangovers following the wave of Internet optimism  The Chinese state has succeeded in imposing censorship on the Internet (The Great Firewall, blocking of Youtube and filtering Google.cn) </li></ul><ul><li>Tradeoff of China as an authoritarian regime: Economic growth or political control </li></ul>
  4. 4. Challenges from current research <ul><li>Overwhelming empirical documentation on freedom of expression violations </li></ul><ul><li>Still little transparency from what the Chinese state does and doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Growing mapping of Chinas governance structures on the Internet </li></ul>
  5. 5. Where it leaves this study <ul><li>An institutional framework around “enforcement regimes” allows a focus on “how by who” rather than “how much” censorship </li></ul><ul><li>In other words: “Which institutional regimes assisted the Chinese state in reaching comprehensive and efficient censorship” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Problem formulering <ul><li>What tools have the Chinese role Chinese state manage to censor the Internet and </li></ul><ul><li>In what way does the censorship-tools applied on the Chinese Internet constitute different enforcement regimes and ? </li></ul><ul><li>The Great Firewall: the inside-outside dimension </li></ul><ul><li>The public private regime: </li></ul><ul><li>The private networks: QQ </li></ul>
  7. 7. Key theoretical perceptions <ul><li>The Internet is a constructed space </li></ul><ul><li>Internet users can be regulated by the architecture itself or by intimidations… </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions act within structures, but can leverage agency </li></ul><ul><li>Private agencies and the state are separate, are driven by separate incentives and act accordingly </li></ul>
  8. 8. Limitations <ul><li>Self-censorship and panoptical reflections about the Chinese police state </li></ul><ul><li>Circumvention: political dissidents on Youtube and the use of proxy-servers </li></ul><ul><li>No extensive disucssion of institutional analysis’ place in authoritarian states </li></ul><ul><li>The Chinese Internet as an unbalanced public sphere and the idea of authoritarian deliberation </li></ul><ul><li>The role of the media is not included </li></ul>
  9. 9. Normative approach <ul><li>China doesn’t recognize freedom of expression as defined by the ICCPR, but this this study use it as point of departure </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom of expression within the Internet: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to hold opinions (free to produce content) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to impart information and ideas (access to producing and sharing content) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom to receive information which includes the right to gather information (ie. access to unedited search engines) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency of censorship regulation (ie. the need for explicit information for users, when material is filtered) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Internet as theoretical field <ul><li>Constructed (Lessig) </li></ul><ul><li>Generative – it inherently generates wealth, innovation and information (Zittrain and Benkler) </li></ul><ul><li>The end-to-end principle (Zittrain) </li></ul><ul><li>Can be regulated at the points-of-control </li></ul><ul><li>Constitutes a legal territory for regulation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Structures <ul><li>The socio-economic dynamics of the generative net (incentive for the state) </li></ul><ul><li>The architecture of the Internet (complex regulatory field) </li></ul><ul><li>The law (some presence of rule of law) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Agency and agents <ul><li>Gatekeepers at the points of control </li></ul><ul><li>State institutions (enforcement agencies and regulatory boards) </li></ul><ul><li>Private agencies (Google, Yahoo, Baidu) </li></ul><ul><li>Users (will seek information and has the right to do so) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Mechanisms (operationalizing censorship on the Internet) <ul><li>Logging (surveillance of users): privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Filtering and blocking websites: access to information and free speech </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidations such as arrests: free speech </li></ul><ul><li>The campaign </li></ul>
  14. 14. Enforcement regimes <ul><li>An ideal type to understand institutional dynamics and public-private relations </li></ul><ul><li>Three levels of enforcement: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Law and regulation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Oversight </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Execution </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Three enforcement regimes <ul><li>The Great Firewall: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measure: Filtering inside outside going content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Command and control, pure public regime from regulation to execution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shaping policy on Internet freedom (regulation) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing a complete list of blocked websites (oversight) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing the Great Firewall (execution) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Private-public co-regulation regime within China <ul><li>The state: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting voluntary “public pledge” (regulation) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring the field (oversight) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arresting users (execution) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Private agencies: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing list of key-words to filter content (oversight) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing the actual filtering (execution) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing information about users with the state (execution) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Private regime with state influence <ul><li>Filtering of content within private networks such as QQ and Sina </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing list of filtered key words (oversight) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formulating terms-of-use agreements with users under private legal frameworks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Executing filtering and sharing information with the state (execution) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>The Chinese state applies a varied strategy to reach efficient censorship </li></ul><ul><li>The Chinese state initiates enforcement at all points of control </li></ul><ul><li>The private agencies plays an individual role a should therefore be held accountable </li></ul><ul><li>The more points of control on the Internet, the more censorship (Search engines) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Consequences for human rights strategies <ul><li>CSR offers a framework for challenging the actions of private agencies </li></ul><ul><li>CSR attempts to moderate behavior of private agencies </li></ul><ul><li>CSR frameworks like the Global Network Initiative is currently including enteties like Yahoo!, Google, but no Chinese. Another West><East. CSR thereby continues the dichotomy of current HR discussions of cultural differences and universality. </li></ul>
  20. 20. A role model for other states? <ul><li>Will the enforcement regimes shaped in China be brought to other countries? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Questions: <ul><li>Is enforcement regimes too static a model? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the private-public distinction meaningful in an authoritarian regime like the Chinese? </li></ul><ul><li>What is effective censorship? Currently China is blocking up to 10% op global websites and 20-30% on sensitive words. Is that really a success? </li></ul>

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