China opens the 2014 World Internet Conference… seriously
China has announced that it’ll be hosting the 2014 World Internet Conference. Yes, you read that correctly, the nation that blocks thousands of websites and social media apps, has opened the 2014 World Internet Conference according to Tech In Asia.
In a statement before the conference opened, Lu Wei, the chairman of China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO), in reference to websites that have been blocked in China – such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter – by saying: “I never visited these websites before, therefore I don’t know whether they have been shut down.”
The Chinese government is portraying the conference as a showcase to celebrate the country’s management of the Internet, with Xinhua News Agency declaring that “behind China’s Internet boom is Beijing’s unique way of management,” as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
“Internet freedom is under attack by governments across the world. Now China appears eager to promote its own domestic internet rules as a model for global regulation,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International in a statement ahead of the meeting, as quoted by BBC. “This should send a chill down the spine of anyone that values online freedom.”