Pekings zwiespältiges Verhältnis zum Internet -- betrachtet von der New York Times: as the number of people online in China has quintupled over the last four years, the government has shown itself to be committed to two concrete, and sometimes competing, goals: strategically deploying the Internet to economic advantage, while clamping down - with surveillance, filters and prison sentences - on undesirable content and use. Both trends, experts say, are likely to continue. "The continuance of Communist Party rule is only possible to the extent that the government delivers economic growth," said Duncan Clark, the managing director of BDA China, a telecommunications and technology consulting firm based in Beijing. "Much as Henry IV in France was known for the chicken in every pot," he said in an e-mail message, "China's rulers are bent on putting communications, mobile phones, Internet access and the new growth area, broadband, into as many hands as possible." ... But not everyone is celebrating the way China has nurtured the Internet. "China is the world's biggest prison for cyberdissidents," said Tala Dowlatshahi, a spokeswoman for the group Reporters Without Borders, based in France. "It's extremely worrying." Human rights groups, which consider the Internet in China to be something of a blessing and a curse, have long raised concerns about the Chinese government's use of the technology. The rise of China's Internet hinted at more freedoms, but it also promised the government a new and effective means of monitoring its citizens. And while some technologically adept citizens have been finding ways to circumvent the monitoring, the government is also becoming more sophisticated, and it remains just as willing to punish transgressors. In a 2004 report called "The Internet Under Surveillance," Reporters Without Borders noted that although Chinese officials had released four people detained for their activities on the Internet since the spring of 2003, there were still 61 people imprisoned "for posting messages or articles on the Internet that were considered subversive." The report also noted that the Internet, in its Chinese manifestation, is purposly built for social control and monitoring. "There are just five backbones or hubs through which all traffic must pass," the report noted. "No matter what I.S.P. is chosen by Internet users, their e-mails and the files they download and send must pass through these hubs."
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