Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Internet providers who want to work
in China "will have to show in complete form and before publication each
video they wish then to put online, so as to control its morality and respect
for law." This is the heart of the new rules issued today by the State
Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the State Internet Information
Office. A new tightening in the field of electronic censorship imposed by the
communist government on the bodies of dissemination and of information.
The two government offices have issued a joint statement in
which they explain the new rules "are used to respond to the rapid growth
of this sector. The videos available on the Web, however, can be dangerous:
some vulgar or pornographic content, or are excessively violent. We must
protect our young people and promote high quality programs."
The regulation has already struck a first illustrious victim,
that is, Michelangelo's David. The Chinese state television, presenting a major
exhibition on the Renaissance that opened last week in Beijing, obscured the
intimate parts of the masterpiece of the Italian artist. The CCTV intervened
with a burst of pixels onto the statue, sparking derision of hundreds of
thousands of people on the internet. "Without the covering it's art, with
the covering it's become a porno," said a user of the Net.
In any case, Beijing does not intend to backtrack. The
internet control and preventive censorship - whether over the media or over the
written comments - has become a necessity after ever-increasing dissidents and
protesters sparked their own protests thanks to the Web, which also allows them
to send abroad the news that otherwise remain within the country's borders.
However, these efforts risk creating a boomerang effect. The government
currently employs about 100,000 police officers to monitor online content, and
has forced bloggers to register with a government office. But the vastness of
the Internet, the huge number of cyber users - China is the second country in
the world in connections and is poised to become the first - and up to date
tools to avoid detection are undermining these efforts.