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China attacks U.S. Internet policy

  |   Feb. 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM
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BEIJING, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- China says programs such as a U.S. plan to bypass Internet restrictions indicate an attempt to interfere in other countries' internal affairs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaxou said Thursday Chinese Internet users have unrestrained freedom of usage with some exceptions "in accordance with the law," while referring a $25 million program for technology that would circumvent Internet restrictions, The New York Times reported.

However, Ma said, the government is "against any other countries using Internet freedom as a pretext for interfering in others' internal affairs."

The U.S. program was outlined in a speech this week by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Although the program is not aimed specifically at China, such technology would let Chinese Internet users overcome censorship efforts, the Times reported.

"The United States continues to help people in oppressive Internet environments get around filters, stay one step ahead of the censors, the hackers and the thugs who beat them up or imprison them for what they say online," Clinton said in her speech.

China's restrictions include blocking pornographic materials and Web sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the Times said.

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