Forbidden City Enclosed by the Great Firewall: The Law and Power of Internet Filtering in China
Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2012
27 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2012
Date Written: March 7, 2012
China’s Internet filtering and censorship regime has received considerable global attention. The Chinese government has successfully regulated access to Internet content at the national level through technical means. Although some researchers optimistically viewed the Internet as a liberating force in China’s democratic development, the Chinese government has actually been using network technologies to control online information and grafting its own ideology to the Net. Digital technologies have become the government’s tool to tamp down political threats. The rise of the Chinese model of Internet control prompts many interesting questions associated with Internet law scholarship. This Article uses Lawrence Lessig’s pronouncement “code is law” as a lens for understanding the Internet filtering system in China. Through the application of Lessig’s theory to the great firewall of China, we aim to illustrate the theory’s new implications and the government’s policy options in cyberspace.
Keywords: Internet filtering, great firewall, Internet censorship, ISP, IXP, code-is-law
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