Chinese censors are tightening the rules about the distribution of news within China. According to The Times, news organisations, such as Reuters, mist first get their material approved by the Chinese authorities prior to distribution. Restricting access to news is fairly typical in authoritarian states or in countries running under dictatorships. After all if you were to let your people know about everything that was going on, you would risk losing your power. However, the Chinese authorities haven’t yet reckoned with the Internet. True, they have tried to restrict access and yes, getting unrestricted access to the Internet in China isn’t that easy. But it is possible and millions of young Chinese people have the ability to read news from around the world, without the intervention of the official censors. Because of this, the attempts by the Chinese authorities to restrict access to official sources of news look more like the beginnings of the last gasps of a dying system. It is yet another example of how the Internet is responsible for changing our relationships with governments. Most governments around the world, including the UK and the USA, have yet to understand how the Internet will reduce their power in significant ways.

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