The New York Times
Date: OCT. 29, 2015
By EDWARD WONG
BEIJING — China ranks last in the world for openness among countries studied in a new report
a new report on Internet freedom by a prominent American pro-democracy group.
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The report, “Freedom on the Net 2015,” the latest such annual study by the group, Freedom House, lists the many ways in which China is restricting free access to the Internet, from strengthening its Great Firewall system of website censorship to criminalizing some kinds of Internet speech. China had the worst score of 65 nations — behind Iran, Cuba and Myanmar. (North Korea was not included in the report.)
“The aim of establishing control was particularly evident in the government’s attitude toward foreign Internet companies, its undermining of digital security protocols, and its ongoing erosion of user rights, including through extralegal detentions and the imposition of prison sentences for online speech,” says the report released this week. “China was the world’s worst abuser of Internet freedom in the 2015 Freedom on the Net survey.”
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Xinhua, the state-run news agency, reported on Wednesday that, through a new criminal law, Chinese officials will be able to punish a person creating and spreading “false information” online with a prison sentence of up to seven years. The law is the latest in an array of legal regulations that Chinese officials have used in recent years to silence political dissent and quash the spread of information and rumors. [FULL STORY]