China’s Internet Policy Offers the Wrong Kind of Lessons

Authoritarians may eye China’s system of internet censorship, known as the Great Firewall, with envy, but other governments may struggle to apply the Chinese model, suggests internet policy analyst Pete Hunt. “China’s real lesson to the world, in turns out, is that maintaining cyber sovereignty is an expensive endeavor with sizable opportunity costs,” he writes for the Diplomat. “The government’s filtering and surveillance capabilities reflect an enormous deployment of capital and human resources that few other countries can afford.” Filters are costly and not one-time investments, requiring updates in hardware and software. China employs 2 million to monitor websites, according to one report, and can demand compliance from foreign firms seeking entry into the world’s largest market. Censorship devices slow internet speed and block innovations while raising concerns about intellectual property protections. Hunt concludes that the system of cyber controls may not be sustainable for China over the long term. Still, the country's five-year economic plan includes leading on internet innovations and that likely includes technologies for control. – YaleGlobal

China’s Internet Policy Offers the Wrong Kind of Lessons

The vision of cyber sovereignty in China is costly, with opportunity costs, and not reproducible elsewhere, especially in developing countries
Pete Hunt
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Read the article from the Diplomat.

Read about China’s economic goals.

 Pete Hunt is a Bangkok-based writer and Internet policy analyst. 

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