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Chinese Communist Party pushes for even more internet restrictions

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china / chinese flag (STOCK)
china / chinese flag (STOCK)

It's no secret that the Chinese government isn't a proponent of a free and open internet, but for some it appears that the Great Firewall doesn't go far enough. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese Communist Party released a call for additional reforms today, citing social networks and mobile messaging apps as areas of particular concern. "Following the increasing power of online media, Internet media and industry management has lagged far behind the quick changes that have come with its development," a translated version of the statement warns, noting that the technologies have the ability to quickly spread information and can mobilize citizens. Accusing current practices of having "low effectiveness," the statement goes on to say that how China provides "public opinion guidance" and controls the spread of information online is already a "real and prominent problem."

Microblogging services like Sina Weibo have previously been pointed to as concerns for China, because they allow citizens to communicate so quickly that they can't be monitored — even though censors scan some 3 million posts per day on that service alone. Perhaps highlighting that precise phenomenon, the new statement calls for a "robust system to manage sudden occurrences on the Internet." No specific steps are proposed, but with the release of such a high-level statement eyes will certainly be on China for additional instances of restricted speech.