Lawmaker aims to stop China’s Net censorship – Hiawatha Bray

From The Boston Globe:

One of the most aggressive human rights activists in Congress has found a new cause: stamping out Internet censorship in China. Representative Christopher H. Smith, a New Jersey Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee on human rights, plans to hold hearings next month on reports that US Internet companies, including Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp., aid efforts by the government of China to suppress free speech.

The issue has simmered for years as American companies have raced to enter the Chinese Internet market, already the second-largest on earth and rapidly growing.US businesses and politicians have long said the growth of Internet use in China would lead to greater freedom of expression; in turn, this would encourage the world’s most populous nation to begin a gradual transition toward democracy.

Instead, the government has repeatedly censored political speech on the Internet in China.