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Congress Mulls China’s Networked Authoritarianism

June 30th, 2010 06:01 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

eldavojohn writes “Rebecca MacKinnon tipped her hand about her congressional statements on China and how much Americans are invested in China’s censorship delivered today at a hearing on “China’s Information Control Practices and the Implications for the United States.” In an attempt to describe what China is pioneering, she coins the term “networked authoritarianism.” Of most concern was Baidu which has two Americans on its board of directors (out of five) as well as a lot of funding from American investors and mutual funds. From her testimony (PDF), ‘As I have described in my testimony, the Chinese government has transferred much of the cost of censorship to the private sector. The American investment community has so far been willing to fund Chinese innovation in censorship technologies and systems without complaint or objection. Under such circumstances, Chinese industry leaders have little incentive and less encouragement to resist government demands that often contradict even China’s own laws and constitution.’ Is Congress genuinely concerned or are they just curious how they can make “networked authoritarianism” work for them?”

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