June 23, 2009
Domestic boycott of the web in China, to protest the mandate of internet filtersby monali
Internet users in China are certainly not very happy with their government’s intrusion in their cyber space and have planned to observe a national boycott of the web on July 1st. The Chinese government has reportedly forced all computer manufacturers to either install or bundle the internet filter named Green Dam-Youth Escort with all newly manufactured computers. The government claims the filter is introduced to block all sort of adult from the web. However, Internet users are convinced this move is aimed to keep a tight watch on the internet activities of groups and websites that the government disapproves of. They all so see this move as an invasion of their privacy.
Ai Weiwei (pictured), who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium used in last year’s Beijing Summer Olympics is the biggest supporter of this boycott. He has urged users to stop all internet activities on July 1st like blogging, chatting, mailing, gaming, etc. This is a very peaceful and effective way for the protestors to make their point clear, with no fear of reprisals. The boycott coincides with the anniversary of the foundation of China’s ruling Communist party and this may serve as a quite way of making a broader political protest.