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By Mo Zhixu, published: October 4, 2015 “[T]he existence of a relatively free, relaxed, and anonymous Internet for the regime is ‘the root of all evil.’”   August 5 was the last day that opinions were solicited by the government for its new Internet Security Law, meaning that in the near future the legislation will be formally unveiled. In draft form, many of its clauses have already attracted scrutiny: for example, the draft stresses that Internet sovereignty is the extension of state sovereignty into cyberspace; it also takes as its objective “protecting the sovereignty of cyberspace and national security,” granting almost unlimited powers to the administrative organs in charge of the Internet. Many think that the Chinese government is setting up a “national Intranet.” The […]


By Wu Qiang, published: August 12, 2014 A model for a contemporary police state. Urban grid system is nothing new. In ancient Rome, the grid was the standard layout of military camps. Urban grid planning, from the very beginning, bore the marks of militarized management. In Beijing, the grid-like streets and alleys (hutongs) have a lot of to do with the layout of military installations in imperial China. To a great extent, today’s urban neighborhoods of Beijing have geographically inherited this traditional grid layout, although structurally the grid has been based on a social system of “work units” that was formed in the 1960s and 1970s and have served the purpose of social control as part of the country’s social system. In brief, this is […]


“A longer, more pessimistic outlook [than the Economist’s special report on China’s internet].“ – the author By Mo Zhixu, published: April 6, 2013   On March 28, the General Office of the State Council issued a “Notice about the Division of Labor in Implementing ‘the Plan for the State Council’s Institutional Reform and Function Change’” (国务院办公厅关于实施《国务院机构改革和职能转变方案》任务分工的通知) which lays out, among other things, the time table for implementing the information network real-name registration system (“The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and State Internet Information Office, along with the Ministry of Public Security, will be in charge of it. It shall be completed by the end of June, 2014”); and for establishing a unified credit information platform and a unified social credit coding system based on […]


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