Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Oh, please, don't start spouting that old party line

Hmmmm. "China signs on to international antispam pact:" The Chinese government has joined an international antispam effort started by the U.K. and U.S. governments, the U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Monday. China's decision to back the London Action Plan on Spam Enforcement Collaboration came after months of discussion between government officials in the U.K. and China. "We have long been keen to engage with China on the issue of spam, in particular because China is probably the second biggest source of spam in the world," said Alun Michael, the U.K.'s e-commerce minister, in a written statement. According to DTI, up to 20 percent of all spam, or unsolicited e-mail, may originate in China where computers and servers are used by spammers outside China without users' knowledge. If true, this would make China the second-largest source of spam after the U.S., it said. Does it seem to anyone else that this might be abused as further justification for internal crackdowns on internet access? I mean, it's bad enough that Microsoft, Cisco and the like are so willing to kowtow to the ChiComs' demands for the sake of business, but American and British government agencies? The respective bureaucrats party to this deal must have some idea what kind of ammunition they're giving to the Chinese government's far-reaching censorship efforts. Better the free world receive a million pieces of spam than give China too easy an excuse to casually shut down dissidents, no?


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