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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

5-2011

Publication Citation

63 Federal Communications Law Journal 697 (2011)

Abstract

The advent of the Internet has brought tremendous technological advancements and growth to the world. However, it has also become a source of conflict, particularly when different countries attempt to regulate this very ubiquitous and amorphous medium. The most notable controversy has arisen in China home to the world's most advanced system of Internet censorship, which levies harsh penalties on those who violate the country's strict censorship laws. China's "Great Firewall" has raised many eyebrows and is garnishing substantial criticism in response to the human rights abuses that result from the jailing and reported torture of Chinese dissidents. Yet the situation has grown even more complicated as American Internet Content Providers (ICPs) have been linked to these abuses through their operations in China, causing these companies to be the target of fierce criticism from human rights groups, the European Union, and the United States government. This Note explores issues of corporate complicity when companies like Yahoo!, Google, and Microsoft operate in Internet-censoring countries like China and then discusses the various solutions that have already been put on the table to address the problem. Ultimately, this Note explains why these current proposals are inadequate to sufficiently address the real issue and concludes by arguing that removing these ICPs from the Chinese market would do more harm than good in the quest to increase Internet freedom in China.

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