Tech

China Launches Campaign To Control The Internet

By | Jun 26, 2014 02:19 PM EDT
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China's Great Hall of the People

China's Great Hall of the People

China's communist government intends to impose on the Internet the same "guiding principles" it currently uses to stifle online dissent within China.

The decision of the U.S. last May to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN, the California-based nonprofit organization that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system, is seen by China as an opportunity to increase its influence over the Internet.

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However, the U.S. said that relinquishing its total control over the Internet's administration will depend on ICANN creating a transparent governance structure free from any hint of interference by any government, including China.

The warning has not prevented China from moving to increase its influence over global Internet governance.

Political analysts said China wants a "new world order of Internet governance" based on international cooperation and away from US control and towards control by China.

China is boosting its effort to promote what it calls a "double seven strategy" to wrest control of the Internet at the 50th global conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers being held in London.

Lu Wei, chairperson of China's State Internet Information Office, as early as ICANN's opening ceremony made the astonishing claim that global participants have reached a general consensus over seven key issues of Internet governance raised by China.

These seven issues are part of China's "double seven strategy" that is essentially a formula for complete control of the Internet by China.

The double seven strategy consists of the "seven baselines" and the "seven consensuses" both unilaterally developed by China without consulting with other countries that are part of ICANN.

The seven baselines consist of promoting communism, promoting China's national interests, observing Chinese laws and regulations; promoting the legitimate interests of Chinese citizens, promoting social order, morality and pushing for information authenticity.

The "seven strategy" echoes Beijing's belief that the Internet should serve the interests of developing countries like China. It argues that the Internet should focus on protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and not become a hotbed for criminal activity or terrorism.

It seeks to make  more beneficial to mankind by bringing peace and security to all countries and not be used as a "weapon" to attack others. Lu also said the Internet should run with civility and integrity without spreading rumors or perpetrate fraud. He said the Internet should pass on positive energy and carry forward the culture of mankind and aid the healthy development of minors.

The Duo Wei Times, a Chinese-language newspaper published in the U.S., said China intends to control the Internet by pushing its "double seven strategy" and by forcing the U.S. to relinquish the final vestiges of its authority over ICANN's functions.

Political observers said Chinese President Xi Jinping's decision to establish a central Internet security group early this year signaled the start of China's campaign to dominate the Internet.

The contract between ICANN and the U.S. is set to end in 2015 but could be extended if the transition plan is not completed.

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