China holds seminars to teach other countries how to restrict online speech

China holds seminars to teach other countries how to restrict online speech, by Steven Melendez.

China is not only continuing to restrict online speech within its own borders, but also providing seminars and tours to delegations from other countries, where it promotes its restrictive techniques and tools. “While it is not always clear what transpires during such seminars, a training for Vietnamese officials in April 2017 was followed in 2018 by the introduction of a cybersecurity law that closely mimics China’s own law,” according to the report. “Increased activity by Chinese companies and officials in Africa similarly preceded the passage of restrictive cybercrime and media laws in Uganda and Tanzania over the past year.” Other countries and multinational companies have previously found a lucrative opportunity in exporting censorship tools. …

More countries are restricting online speech in the name of combating “fake news.” The Philippines has proposed a law to criminalize the malicious spread of fake news, countries including Bangladesh and Rwanda have cracked down on live streamers and bloggers, and more countries are requiring website operators and high-traffic social media accounts to register or receive permits from the government.