AP reports on a California free speech group that is using a new tactic to try to put an end to Internet censorship in China:
In a presentation Monday to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, the San Rafael, Calif.-based California First Amendment Coalition argued that China’s blatant and sophisticated censorship of the Internet violates China’s obligations under the World Trade Organization.
The nonprofit group wants the U.S. Trade Representative to file a petition with the WTO alleging that China has breached agreements that WTO members must adhere to. China became a member of the WTO in 2001.
The WTO has never addressed whether e-commerce and Internet access are covered by the organization’s bylaws — but activists say the CFAC initiative could become a test case. [Full text]
The California First Amendment Coalition itself describes this as “the biggest access-to-information and free speech case in history.” See also “Group urges US challenge Chinese censorship at WTO” from Reuters.