Feeds

Beijing Big Brother gets bigger

New laws tighten grip on media, technology

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Beijing today attempted to defend sweeping new powers which gag foreign media and bar citizens from subscribing to news from abroad. The laws were published Sunday and went into effect immediately.

The government says its new rules are designed to "promote the dissemination of news and information in a sound and orderly manner".

As well as explicitly banning direct access to foreign news from within China, incoming news will be filtered and censored by Communist Party news and propaganda bureau Xinhua.

"Measures for administering the dissemination of news and information in China by foreign news agencies" also override previous dispensations aimed at business news, granting Xinhua a monopoly on a lucrative and burgeoning market.

Media rights campaigner Reporters Without Borders said: "It is outrageous that Xinhua, the Communist Party mouthpiece, should claim full powers over news agencies. It also poses a threat to news agency journalists, who play a key role in the circulation of news in China.

"Xinhua is establishing itself as a predator of both free enterprise and freedom of information."

The measures appoint Xinhuu as enforcer. It will have powers to give warnings, demand changes within a prescribed time limit, suspend release of content, and withdraw rights to release information in China.

Speaking to reporters today, government Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: "China uses the law to protect the interest of its citizens and foreign journalists."

Stories and photographs which Xinhau believes "undermine China's national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity" or "endanger China's national security, reputation and interests" are top of the list of forbidden information.

Beijing has ensured news in the technological powerhouses of Hong Hong and Taiwan are covered. Human Rights in China executive director Sharon Hom said: "Not only the international press community but also IT companies should be very alarmed by these measures."

Xinhua's statement detailing the regulations is here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.