BEIJING — If anyone wonders whether the Chinese government has tightened its grip on electronic communications since protests began engulfing the Arab world, Shakespeare may prove instructive.
A Beijing entrepreneur, discussing restaurant choices with his fiancée over their cellphones last week, quoted Queen Gertrude’s response to Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The second time he said the word “protest,” her phone cut off.
He spoke English, but another caller, repeating the same phrase on Monday in Chinese over a different phone, was also cut off in midsentence…. (click the link to read more, the plot thickens)
Don’t rest too easy thinking that you are safe from the effects of this because you live someplace other than China. If the technology is available to the Chinese government, I guarantee it is available to others. It’s important to stay vigilant and protective of the rights you have as a U.S. citizen or any other country where free speech is under threat of regulation.
This interference will also affect the ability of companies to do business in China, not to mention the willingness of expats and their families who live there and run those companies to remain there under such limitations. Add it to the corruption of all the systems there and it becomes very aggravating. Already, most blogs are blocked by the Firewall regardless of their content, thus limiting people’s contact with family members around the world. Even Skype is monitored. I say watch for a migration of companies out of China in the next 5-10 years as companies decide it’s better to do business in a more democratically friendly country such as India.
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂