Stricter Control of Information Flow Over the Internet in China

Featured, News, Privacy Issues

State Internet Information OfficeIf you live in China your internet life is about to get more complicated. Last Wednesday, the Chinese government announced that it is merging its different departments and agencies, in order to create State Internet Information Office.

What is State Internet Information Office?

Because until now, censorship and supervision over the internet, information flow and technology was divided into different branches of government it could not be always effective. The newly created agency is supposed to be the answer to all previous inabilities and hiccups. Now, not only censorship itself will become more firm but also responses of the agency to all threats presented by Chinese citizens will be much more efficient.

SIIO will try to improve methods of censorship employed until now independently by separate agencies, will control expansion and influence of outside companies into China’s internet.

Agencies that will be merged “include the State Council Information Office (responsible for content), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (regulator of technology and telecommunications areas), and the Ministry of Public Security (responsible for law enforcement). The new State Internet Information Office will be headed by Wang Chen, China’s Information Minister.

State Internet Information Office responsibilities 

Among many other responsibilities that new agency will have some of them were pointed out. These are:

The office will work to implement the policies of Internet communication and promote legal system construction in this field, it said.

It will direct the development of online gaming, online video and audio businesses and online publication industries, it said.

The office will be engaged in promoting construction of major news websites and managing government online publicity work.

It is assigned the duties to investigate and punish websites violating laws and regulations.

It will oversee telecom service providers in their efforts to improve the management of registration of domain names, distribution of IP addresses, registration of websites and Internet access.

It will also guide the work of Internet information offices at the local levels.

We strongly advise all people using internet from the China territory to consider paying for well-established VPN services. Users should be especially careful when choosing local, less known and free VPN services as some of them might be set up by “people you try to avoid in the first place”!!! Since a lot of companies offer monthly subscription plans we feel like this is the best option to use in case their servers would get blocked for access from China.

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