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China cracks down on illegal online map services to protect state security


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A. Fenix

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"http://news.xinhuane...ent_7858467.htm

China cracks down on illegal online map services to protect state security BEIJING, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is to crack down on illegal online map and geographical information websites, claiming they threaten state security, said an official of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) on Tuesday.

Eight departments, including the SBSM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Security, said they would tighten supervision over online map and geographical information service websites.

Min Yiren, deputy director of the SBSM, said almost 10,000 online map websites operated in China, most of them showing maps without approval.

"Some websites publish sensitive or confidential geographical information, which might leak state secrets and threaten national security," Min said.

He said those websites would be closed down.

Foreign organizations and individuals engaging in making and publishing online maps in China would also be stopped.

The campaign would also target websites that made mistakes such as labeling Taiwan a "country", wrongly drawing national boundaries, or omitting important islands including the South China Islands, Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Island, said Min.

These websites would be punished and required to make corrections, he said.

A hotline has been set up for the public to report illegal websites.

The SBSM put 418 Chinese and world maps on its website for the public to check and download.

Last year, China issued a regulation restricting surveying and mapping by foreigners to protect national security.

It stipulated foreign organizations and individuals who intend to engage in surveying and mapping must obtain approval from the central government and accept supervision from local governments.

Editor: Yan Liang"
Analisa Fenix
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#2
James Hines

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I am not going to get into this subject too deep because I am not interested in debating politics but this smells of censorship. Besides I have been in political debate a little too much, even a holding a supervisor position a on a couple of sites, & let me tell you to stay away it can get too hot to handle. ;)

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#3
A. Fenix

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what we do is political. there is no debate in that, or is there? ;) hehehe... seriously though, i'm not trying to start a political debate, but it is the underlying topic that this article brings up (call it censorsihp, state security, whatever term) that i find intriguing. especially considering how our trade is becoming more and more digital every day.
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#4
François Goulet

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Last year, China issued a regulation restricting surveying and mapping by foreigners to protect national security.


With satellite imagery and application like Google Earth, it's gonna be hard to do... Are they gonna sue private companies to remove images of China?

#5
ELeFevre

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Last year, China issued a regulation restricting surveying and mapping by foreigners to protect national security.


With satellite imagery and application like Google Earth, it's gonna be hard to do... Are they gonna sue private companies to remove images of China?


I can see how they could easily shut-down websites publishing "sensitive content" on Chinese networks, but I highly doubt there's anything they can do to stop foreigners from mapping China. The Chinese government seems to be trying to strike a balance between complete control and the global market-place. I guess they've been doing this for a quite a long time. Good news is it seems like they are becoming, from a western perspective, more transparent, with of course the much too frequent back-step of issuing Official Threats as a way to remind the public (and the world) of who's running the show and calling the shots. Whether or not there is any real bite to the threat is the question. I think warnings like these are simple reminders for foreigners, and unfortuneatly, potential trouble for Chinese geospatial publishers. It probably depends on the priorities of the day and if the information competes with official business. Just my very generalized, westernized, vague, uninformed, 2 cents!

We've published several China related wall maps that show what is probably considered extremely sensitive data (power infrastructure) and never heard anything but positive feedback from Asian customers. Who knows, maybe today's the day when a Top Secret Agent is going to sneak into my work-space and "Slip me a Mickey"!






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