Commentary: China's counter-terrorism internet regulation should be fairly credited

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-03 03:46:20|Editor: Yang Yi
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by Xinhua writers Gu Zhenqiu, Gui Tao

LONDON, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- It could be a good time for some biased Western media outlets, which once criticized China's efforts to stamp online terrorism and extremism, to have a rethink. Shouldn't the endeavors of the world's most populous country to purge the internet of poisonous and pernicious material deserve the same credit, if not more, as British government proposals to achieve the same aim?

Some Western news organizations have been challenging China's policy to regulate the internet to prevent terrorism. This has been unfair to China. The critics should have seen not only the regulation measures, but also their purpose and beneficiaries.

Earlier this week, Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd, at a meeting in the U.S. state of California's Silicon Valley, called for a united stand against online terror.

Rudd should be supported when she reportedly asked the U.S.-based tech and social media giants to counter or remove content that incites terrorism.

World experts have said that to effectively curb terrorist attacks which have been on the rise across the globe, it is critical to work out ways to curb the online spread of terrorism. That makes much sense to China, one of the world's most vulnerable and victimized countries to cyber terrorism.

Describing a challenge to online extremism as "complex", Rudd, one of the most senior members of the British Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet, resolved to fight the war on the frontline. She described this frontline as the screen of a tablet, a laptop or a computer in a teenager's bedroom or the cell phone in his or her pocket.

The official's latest move has been put forward as a critical part of May's determination to come down hard on cyber terrorism and extremism by introducing regulations on the way the internet works.

"Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet," according to the manifesto published by Britain's ruling Conservative Party led by May ahead of the June general election. "We disagree."

For a country which has suffered four major terrorist attacks over the past months, Britain knows only too well how the turning of a blind eye by internet companies to the terror material on the internet can, and does, have deadly consequences for innocent people.

So is China's case any different from that? The vast country's once restive western region has seen an array of ideologically driven attacks over the past years, many of which could be traced to online extremist material.

The British government's plan is expected to allow Britain to become "the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet." How could China, with the same purpose of safeguarding its own national security, be accused of suppressing cyber freedom and violating human rights?

China should be fairly treated when it is fighting online terrorism, the common enemy of mankind.

It has been indicated by both Chinese and British officials that the internet should not be a lawless jungle. Their cooperation with the internet companies aims to ensure there is no "safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online." The same commitments to national security, with the same logic behind them, should be equally credited.

Cooperation against internet terror is needed since no country can handle the tough issue all by itself. The basis for a sound cooperation is nothing but mutual understanding.