* Organizational policies and standard, for example, email, surveillance and monitoring policies

China's blog policy: A case study


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Scenario:

Yahoo and MSN have signed China’s blog policy which is called the ‘self discipline pact”. This policy is basically putting a ban to posting of materials which criticizes the government or any of their actions. It also puts a ban on the spreading of any democratic ideas. Other than that the pact has also asked these two companies to provide all the details of their bloggers (including names, email address etc) to China’s Internet society which is under a strong watch by the Chinese government officials. The firm also confirms to delete any bad or illegal messages from any of the postings made. The pact was also signed by local companies for their logging operation.

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Social and Ethical issues:

Blogs are a way of expressing one’s ideas and feelings. These could be one’s political views, religious views etc. If restrictions are put to it then the whole idea just becomes meaningless. This is what exactly has happened in this case. This pact is mainly violating people’s right to say what they want. People cannot share their ideas or whatsoever. Say if I post writing on my political views and some others view it, then they would definitely provide me with a feedback and also add some of their own feelings. This in turn helps in social interaction online. Not only is that it our basic human right to say what we want.

Privacy issues:

In terms of privacy we can say that the privacy of the bloggers is also lost since all their personal information has to be submitted to the government. Now it is also not certain how safe this information is with the government. It is also quite possible that someone from the government official might misuse this personal information.

Globalization and cultural diversity:

Thomas Friedman the author of the book “The world is flat” said that the world is gradually flattening in the cyber space as we can all access and contribute information at the same time through blogs and wikis. He also said these are now a huge source of information where thousands of people are contributing and accessing the information at the same time. Now if a certain region puts a ban or a restriction to these sources then people of that region is deprived of much exchange of information and views. This is what exactly is going on in China. The Chinese people are being deprived of all the ‘trade’ of this information. Besides people from other regions of the world is also no getting to know how everything is going on in China. Some are also feeling that this is an insult by the Chinese government. I also feel that firms like Yahoo and MSN are also being criticized and loosing out customers as they are signing to such a pact. The International freedom group Reporters without borders has already condemned these two firms for signing the pact.

Personal Evaluation:

I feel that the Chinese government should now be more open to the world. I also feel that the ban on blogs and other sources should be removed by the government. This is because these sources of information are constantly being updated by millions of users. Not only that feedback and suggestions from many others are also up their which is helpful to many people. Besides that I also feel that right to freedom of speech is being violated. Other than communication with people from other regions also becomes a problem. For example during our Horizon project it was really difficult to get the videos from the project members from China as some commonly used sites such as Youtube and Google video is banned in China. Thus the project was delayed by a couple of days. So the government must do something about it and make it self more open to the world.