Isaac Mao: Obama Takes on the China Firewall

mao, a Shanghai based social entrepreneur, blogger, software architect and fellow of Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Law School of Harvard University, writes on the Guardian:

Obama’s reference to censorship and the internet in Shanghai today came as little surprise to those of us who attended a briefing last week organised by the US embassy. No traditional journalists were present; instead a range of prominent fresh from the fifth Chinese Blogger Conference in Guangdong province and a mix of opinion leaders were invited to three consulates in China, linked by a video conferencing system.

The respected blogger said many internet users wanted Obama to urge Chinese leaders to release the internet from heavy censorship. In response, , from Chinese Media University, argued that mainstream public opinion was not bothered about internet freedom – that they cared instead about financial freedom and freedom to travel. Bloggers in attendance swiftly tweeted Wang’s remarks, triggering a big debate online. Within hours he had been given a new moniker by the twittersphere: Mr Mainstream.


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