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China and the Internet The worldwide network of computers known as the Internet poses an interesting dilemma to the government of China The widespread and cheap access to unrestricted information that the Internet offers could pose a serious threat to the authoritarian government of China In contrast the benefits to business and efficiency that the Internet can bring are too great to be ignored especially as China makes an entrance into the World Trade Organization and the global economy How will China handle these conflicting pressures Todays Internet can trace its roots back to the ARPAnet a collection of computers designed to share information among universities and researchers ARPAnet was conceived by the United States government in 1969 and has grown steadily since Now a truly global network of computers located all over the world no single nation owns the Internet Global governing bodies and standards have been established to control and direct the continued growth of the Internet Since a single nation cannot control the content that can be found on the Internet those that wish to restrict or control access must resort to content filtering or blocking through software and hardware barriers laws controlling and patrolling access and the limiting of physical access to an internet connection To filter and block content the Chinese government employs both software filtering and limited physical access to the Internet In early 2001 China rolled out government developed filtering software dubbed Internet Police 110 reportedly named for Chinas emergency police telephone number that will not only block Web surfers from viewing offensive pornographic and violent online content a not uncommon practice throughout the Internet world but will also steer Internet users away from sites the government views as threatening to the Chinese Communist Party regime Gebler Chinese Web Filter May Block Western Sites This software reportedly has the capability to track web surfers and block messages from specific sources Three versions of Internet Police 110 were slated
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