It worth a separate post to explain why I argue that Google’s action by putting server in Hong Kong is still illegal in terms of Chinese domestic law.
Today’s news in China went further by claiming GoDaddy.com, the domain registration agency is violating Chinese domestic law: http://tech.163.com/10/0324/06/62H6QH81000915BF.html. In Google case, the ministry of industry and information in China claims “every company should comply the domestic law when doing business here.” So, the question is, which law or if there are any law provide legal justification to block Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Youtube and partially block Wikipedia, Google etc.
It turns out that there really is a domestic law for doing that: the Internet Information Services Management Approach (http://www.cnnic.net.cn/html/Dir/2000/09/25/0652.htm). How the domestic law extends across border? Checkout the second line (automatic translated by Google Translate):
“Second: in the PRC engaged in Internet information service activities, must comply with these measures.
“The term Internet information services, refer to Internet users through the Internet to provide information services activities.”
Yes, I know the machine translation is absurd, but I don’t want to lose any precision by translating this myself. It provides a definition of the entities to which this law applies to. It is: anyone who provides information services through Internet to the Chinese user. Further more, it explained what is “Internet information services in PRC”: any activities that Internet users in China can engage in.
It is a confusing law because the definition is not complete by itself alone. It can be arbitrary services if the user in China can have access to. That essentially means, every website on the Internet should comply this domestic law.
Well, it is the classic Chinese approach: making everyone guilty, so that you can put anyone in jail as you wish.