Government censors in China are once again targeting the Internet, restricting citizens' access to online content. The latest restrictions include more than 700 entertainment sites; many offered free downloads of TV shows, movies, and music. Authorities say the latest restrictions are meant to protect children from inappropriate sites, curb piracy and illegal file sharing, and to make it harder for scams to surface online.
The new rules are just the latest from a country known for its censorship; the Chinese government has already blocked thousands of sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Also included in the new rules: individuals can no longer register sites under the .cn domain, which is reserved for registered businesses. While individuals can still register .com and .net domains, critics say that the change “will have a negative impact on the vibrancy of the Chinese Internet."
I agree that sometimes restrictions are necessary — especially to protect children — I can't help but feel sympathetic towards Chinese citizens who can't access so much of the Internet. While their "official" concerns are valid, these latest restrictions just seem like one more step by the Chinese government to limit political opposition.