China hails Cameron’s look at instant messaging crackdown


Chinese Communists have praised the Prime Minister for investigating whether clampdowns on instant messaging and other social media can be introduced.

Loyalist Beijing newspaper, Global Times, describes David Cameron’s consideration of blocking the use of social networking websites as a ‘bold measure‘.

The newspaper, which prints an English edition,  belongs to the People’s Daily, an ‘organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China”.

Global Times was recently accused of ‘ astroturfing’ criticism of artist, nobel laureate and government critic Ai Weiwei by asking staff to pose as members of the public on internet forums discussing his imprisonment and to attack the human rights campaigner.

Weiwei was reported as having suffered torture when imprisoned for alleged tax evasion. He was never formally charged during his detainment.

The newspaper argues that a new authoritarian attitude by the British government could “appease” tensions between the UK and China. It says:

“The British Government’s wariness of the Internet and Blackberry Messenger – symbols of freedom of speech – is a forced reaction, which might upset the Western world.

“Meanwhile, the open discussion of containment of the Internet in Britain has given rise to a new opportunity for the whole world. Media in the US and Britain used to criticize developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet.” 

Global Times then uses Cameron’s consideration of a social networking clampdown as a weapon to criticise proponents for more internet freedom in the world’s most populous country:

“As for China, advocates of an unlimited development of the Internet should think twice about their original ideas.

“On the Internet, there is no lack of posts and articles that incite public violence. They will cause tremendous damage once they are tweeted without control. At that time, all governments will have no other choice but to close down these websites and arrest those agitators.

“Turbulence must lead to self-examination, otherwise it’ll lead to great peril in one’s destiny.”

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  • Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – Get a grip please.

    Since when was Wandsworth Borough Council the government?

    Perhaps you’d like to direct your fire towards the Labour council in Nottingham doing the same thing or maybe explain your theory about the Daily Mail to the families burned out of their homes or the thousands at the funerals for those innocent victims murdered by the rioters.

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  • Mr. Sensible

    yes, Mr Mouse, Nottingham are doing it, and I consider this misguided; I can’t see that solving the problem. And no Wandsworth is not the government, but it is all the same thing; I cannot believe the Tories, who once championed the values of our justice system which we hold dear in response to Control Orders, now seem willing to throw those same values to the wolves in the name of knee-jerk reaction.

    As to those who lost their lives, I think we need look no further than Mr Jahan’s call for calm following those incidents. I think some people would do well to listen to him.

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  • Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – You are wrong again.

    1. Local councils are simply not the same as the government – to suggest they are is verging on lunacy.
    2. The councils are acting within the terms of their Tenancy Agreement’s – why shouldn’t they?
    3. Unlike Labour, this government isn’t acting in any time of knee jerk response. Quite the reverse in fact.
    4. The government is acting calmly following these incidents.
    5. How the independent court system chooses to deal with suspects is their business not the governments.

    I have to say Mr.Sensible that over the years that you have been posting on this fine blog, you have made wildly inaccurate remarks, (which in fairness the majority of the authors themselves make) but your post here really takes the biscuit.

    Get a grip please Mr.Sensible – people have been murdered here….

  • Leon Wolfson

    @8 – The government has dicated policy to councils on this. They are entirely to blame. It’s like the Government blaming councils for their cuts, when they’re the ones who have slashed their funding – a pathetic excuse to try to avoid taking responsibility for their own policies. Same for the political pressure being put onto the courts, and the pressure on the police to use illegal detention policies.

    And the government is having an old fashioned moral panic, to say their reaction is “calm” is like saying a nuclear detonation is a “bang”.

    And yes, you’re pushing policies which will lead to more murders the next time around by priming the powder keg. That’s grossly irresponsible.

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