Beijing ahead in the Internet game – Tamara Renee Shie
The Internet, long proclaimed a conduit for democratization, is meeting its match in China. While Western libertarians believe China is fighting a losing battle as protestors and dissidents increasingly organize online, the Chinese leadership is betting its dual strategy of censorship and development will ultimately succeed.
The Internet provides an unprecedented ability to create, access and exchange information. Unlike other mass communication mediums, cyberspace allows for the multi-directional and (theoretically) borderless free flow of information. These characteristics imply that it cannot be controlled like traditional forms of media. Or can it? Technological libertarians maintain that autocratic leaders face a zero-sum dilemma: embrace information technology and sacrifice political power, or suppress it and pay the economic price.