Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Big Brother China

According to the article “Oh, (Big) Brother” fake journalist are posing a big problem in China. These fake reporters are posing as reporters in an effort to blackmail and extort people by using the threat of negative press coverage. In an effort to remedy the situation:
The authorities are building a database of overseas reporters’ profiles for the reference of interviewees.
The database is coming under question because of China’s extreme limitations on media – threatening reporters, monitoring their communication, and censoring their stories. The database seems to take on “an ominous Big Brother quality.”

I tried to imagine what the situation would be like if here in the United States we had a similar problem and came up with a similar solution. Would there be such an outrage since we don’t have a history of censorship? Would the database simply be swept under the rug with little attention? Or would it be totally opposite and demand more of an outcry then it does in Chine because we pride ourselves on our freedom of speech? I don’t really know if I have the answer or could even foresee what that answer might be. Maybe the answer isn’t the question at all. Maybe we are getting to caught up in China’s censorship to remember the issue at hand, people are posing as reporters to harm blackmail people for money. I remember how outraged the U.S. was in with FEMA’s attempt at fake reporters.

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