Thursday, January 14, 2016

Baidu Encyclopedia Article on "Internet Sovereignty" Disappears

On December 16, 2015, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “Internet Sovereignty Should be Respected: President.”  Some excerpts:
President Xi Jinping said the international community should respect the "Internet sovereignty" of individual countries and build a "multilateral, democratic, and transparent" global Internet governance system.

"Based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual trust, the international community should increase dialogues and cooperation, reform global Internet governance, and make the cyberspace a peaceful, secure and open place," Xi said at the opening ceremony of the 2nd World Internet Conference, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province on Wednesday, Dec 16.

Xi went on to say that the global Internet governance reform needs to be based on a principle of Internet sovereignty. "We should respect the rights of individual countries in choosing their own Internet development path, Internet governance, and Internet policies and take part in cyberspace governance on an equal basis and not push cyberspace hegemony or interfere in other countries' internal affairs or engage in or support cyberspace activities that jeopardize the national security of others."

Officials said China has been the victim of a large number of cyber attacks from Internet servers based in some developed countries, such as the United States.
. . . .
Regarding the overall management of cyberspace, Xi said there needs to be a proper balance in "freedom" and "order", and that "freedom is the end of order and order the guarantee of freedom".

"We should respect the rights of netizens in exchanging ideas and expressions, but should also build good cyberspace order that accords with the law to benefit and protect the rights of the netizens."
On the following day an Internet user updated Baidu’s Encyclopedia (“Baike” 百科, a wikipedia-like product) to include an article on “Internet Sovereignty” (互联网主权) - a variation of the exact phrasing used by Xi Jinping at Wuzhen - "网路主权," which is more directly translated as "network sovereignty."

Practically all of the article’s content came from state run media and a “white paper” produced by the PRC government. There was, however, one exception: a section entitled “Leaping Over the Wall is a Kind of International Trafficking Crime” (翻“墙”是一种国际偷渡的犯罪行为). That section read:
If you have sovereignty, then you have a balkanized net. If you have a balkanized net, you have the world. The borders of the balkanized net must be defined by "walls." The 1970's "Declaration of Principles of International Law" set forth the content of the principles of sovereignty, the heart of which is the equality of each country's sovereignty. Seeing as everyone is equal, after China advocates for its own rights on the Internet, then the United States of America shall also advocate for its rights, France and Germany, Japan and North Korea, all should have this opportunity. How does everyone divide up territory while maintaining peaceful coexistence? We know that territory can be demarcated using a Great Wall. The concept of the balkanized net discussed above, the balkanized net, may also be demarcated by the great "firewall." With a wall, the Internet has international borders, and everyone is like you don't bother me and I won't bother you, equal. Walls symbolize boundaries, and illegal behavior will be subject to international sanctions. In the future, Internet trafficking will also be attacked.

Anyone who has read this far should ask, if walls are built on the Internet, won't this mean that the country adopts a closed door policy, and the Celestial Empire will create an intranet?

This way of thinking is incorrect. It only tells half the story. The former half of that statement is wrong, the latter half of that statement is reasonable. The Internet will always be free, and information will will always be free, and creating a Internet nation is not for adopting a closed door policy, but rather for achieving information order.

People also ask, if we are not adopting a closed door policy, then why can't Google.com be accessed?

Google's inaccessibility is the result of their alienating themselves from China's Internet users. In an age when information spread unchecked and there was no sovereignty, they paid a grievous price. Now, when this kind of Internet Sovereignty is built up, and after  international Internet order is upheld, then you can access it.

How to access it? Very simple. As a Netizen, you must carry a residential identification card, and in accord with processes for citizens going abroad, fully prepare all kinds of evidentiary materials, and first go to the "Online Embassy" and file an application, which the Online Embassy will submit to Google, and after you have received Google's approval you will be able to sign on. Ha Ha. Of course, you can't have any criminal record, and if your file shows any record of hacking, the likelihood that you will be refused will be relatively high.

有了主权,就有领网,有了领网,就有边界。领网的边界需要“墙”来定。1970年的《国际法原则宣言》阐述了主权原则的内容,其中心是各国主权平等。既然大家平等嘛,中国在互联网上主张了自己的权利之后,美利坚合众国也当主张权利,法国德国意大利,日本韩国北朝鲜,也应当有这个机会。大家如何划分地盘做到和平共处呢?我们知道,领土,可以通过长城界定,前文讲了领网的概念,领网,也可以通过伟大的“防火墙”界定。有了墙,互联网上就有国际边界,大家你不烦我我不烦你,平等。墙作为边界的象征,是应该受到法律保护的。因此,翻墙是一种未经许可的违法行为,违法行为,则要受到国际制裁。网络偷渡行为,也将受到打击。
看到这里,有人该问了,在互联网上立起墙来,这不是要闭关锁国,大搞天朝局域网吗?
这思路是不正确的。只说对了一半。前半句不对,后半句有理。互联网永远是自由的,信息也是自由的,建立了互联网国家,但绝不是要闭关锁国,而是为了实现信息秩序化。
又有人问,不闭关锁国,那Google.com为啥不能访问了?
Google不能访问,那是他们自绝于中国网民。在信息泛滥,没有主权的时代,他们付出了惨重的代价。现在,建立这样一套网络主权,维护了国际网络秩序后,你就可以访问啦。
怎么访问?很简单,作为一个网民,你要带好居民身份证,按照公民出国流程,准备好各种证明材料,先到“网络大使馆”申请,网络大使馆将申请提交Google,获得Google批准后即可登录。哈哈。当然你不能有犯罪前科,若是档案中曾有黑客记录的话,遭拒的可能性那就比较大啦。
These screenshots show that the article was deleted within hours (even though Baidu continued to show it in search results for some time).


An article entitled "Network Sovereignty" (网路主权) remained available. That article did not contain the aforementioned language, and de-emphasized the idea that the concept was exclusively an invention of leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

On December 17, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “No Internet Hegemony: Xi.” Some excerpts:
Huang Rihan, a research fellow with the Maritime Silk Road Institute at Huaqiao University in Fujian Province, told the Global Times that it is necessary for China to propose a new model of Internet governance as it grows to become a "strong Internet power" and it is also part of its responsibilities as a major world power to offer new ideas in governance.

There are now two major Internet governance models, one represented by the US, which advocates so-called open and free principles, the other represented by China, which insists on cyber sovereignty, Huang said.

"China's experience is based on regulation of cyberspace activities within the rule of law," said Huang. "China insists that the security and freedom of cyberspace can only be guaranteed when order is maintained."

"We should respect Internet users' rights to exchange their ideas and express their minds, and we should also build good order in cyberspace in accordance with the law as it will help protect the legitimate rights and interests of all Internet users," Xi said Wednesday, stressing that cyberspace is not "a place beyond the rule of law."

Shen Yi, an associate professor of international studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that cyberspace does not need hegemony or a hegemonic country, but it is in need of a system of order or regulation, which will further support Internet development and bring benefits.

"Whether some Westerners recognize it or not, China has been exploring its own path of Internet governance, which meets the demands of the development of its Internet in a market economy," Shen told the Global Times.

Such a path has enabled domestic Internet companies to grow strong, and in the meantime, international Internet giants are also eager to get a share of the Chinese market, he noted.

The more the US emphasizes its concept of "Internet freedom" and tries to bind its national interest with the Internet, said Shen, the more other countries may be forced to adopt regulations on the Internet to protect their own interests. "The Internet should become a real public sphere instead of a tool of the US," he said.