Censorship over use of internet is increasing due to increase in fraudulent activities. Although monitoring use of internet reduces number of cyber crimes, often privacy rights of users are violated due to some monitoring activities (Li, 2014). The Chinese government uses advanced monitoring techniques to reduce cyber crimes (Liang & Lu, 2010). Recently in China more than 60000 public accounts are closed due to the Government’s policy (Carsten & Birsel, 2015). In this essay Doting Ethics Techniques (DET) are applied to understand ethical dilemmas related with internet monitoring policies in China.
Application of DET techniques:
Internet monitoring is necessary for protecting users from cyber crime. On other hand, excessive monitoring can lead to privacy loss of users and thus it can violate basic rights of citizens. As censorship over internet is a complex issue, use of DET techniques is effective to identify the ethical dilemmas related with it.
Summary of the case:
The Government of China emphasizes on using real names of a user while creating public accounts on internet. In February, about 60000 public accounts are deleted by networking service providers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc etc (Carsten & Birsel, 2015). Implementation of real name policy can reduce fraudulent activities over internet but it also increases Government’s control over public activities (Fu et al., 2013). Statement from the Chinese Government indicates that these deletions were done to restrict the user from doing any violent or terrorism related activities using internet, such deletions also may restrict users from conveying their opinions on national and public issues. Analysis of the case reflects that the new real name policy of China caused generation of ethical dilemmas.
Identification of stakeholders:
Stakeholders which are related with the case are –Cyber Space Administration of China, social networking service providers of China and Chinese social network users. However activities of international social networking service providers which are trying to enter into Chinese market can be influenced by these policies.
Impacts of dilemma on trust of Stakeholders:
Ideals: Implementation of real name policy and deletion of suspicious accounts are done to promote fair practices of internet use among social account holders. On other hand, it also requires being ensued that none of the users will be accused for commenting on Government activities.
Rights: Chinese Government has right to know and control activities of citizens on internet. However, Chinese citizens also have rights for expressing their view freely. Although enforcement of Real name policy protects the Government’s rights, misuse of it can lead to violation of citizen’s right.
Identification of Obligations:
Real name policy in China has been implemented for avoiding misleading people. However the users who used fake accounts for conducting violent activities or spreading rumors breached the policies of social networking service providers and Chinese Government. On other hand mass deletion of anonymous social accounts can breach Government’s duty of protecting basic rights of citizens.
Consequences for stakeholders:
Due to implementation of real name policies and deletion of anonymous accounts Chinese Government can gain more control over internet activities of common people. The social networking platforms require changing their existing registration policies to implement new rules. Social networking account holders may lose their freedom for expressing views on national events.
Application of ethical theories:
Application of Act Utilitarianism theory on an events enables us to understand how the event influenced it’s all stakeholders (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012). Use of Act Utilitarianism theory over Chinese censorship indicates that the Government is benefitted due to implementation of new policies by gaining opportunities for controlling internet activities (Yang, 2014). However internet users are affected due to this policy as some of their activities can be restricted. Application of Rule Utilitarianism indicates that censorship of internet use and deletion of anonymous accounts reduced the happiness of internet users in China. Analysis of the recent censorship in China using social contract theory indicates that acceptability of real name policy may reduce to common users as the policy can impact on their freedom. Application of Kantianism theory indicates that the users may lose their rights of expressing opinions due to misuse of new policy.
Identification of best action:
Analysis on the censorship policies indicates that implementation of real name policy is beneficial for Chinese Government as it will increases security of common internet users. The Government also require ensure that the real name policy is not restricting users from conducting any activity over internet freely. However the Government also can make people aware about cyber crimes to reduce fraud activities using internet.
Justification for chosen action:
Arrangement of campaigns against cyber crime will be effective. Such Campaigns will not impact on the freedom of citizens. Controlled implementation of real name policy is also effective for providing secured internet service.
Analysis on real name policy indicates that this new policy has been implemented to restrict malpractices related with social networking accounts. However its misuse can violate basis rights of citizens and thus enforcement of real name policy caused ethical dilemmas.
Carsten, P., & Birsel, R. (2015). China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts. Reuters. Retrieved from
Fu, K., Chan, C., & Chau, M. (2013). Assessing Censorship on Microblogs in China: Discriminatory Keyword Analysis and the Real-Name Registration Policy. IEEE Internet Comput., 17(3), 42-50. doi:10.1109/mic.2013.28
Li, J. (2014). Internet Control or Internet Censorship? Comparing the Control Models of China, Singapore, and the United States to Guide Taiwan?€™s Choice. Pittsburgh Journal Of Technology Law And Policy, 14(1), 1. doi:10.5195/tlp.2013.131
Liang, B., & Lu, H. (2010). Internet Development, Censorship, and Cyber Crimes in China. Journal Of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 26(1), 103-120. doi:10.1177/1043986209350437
Thiroux, J., & Krasemann, K. (2012). Ethics. Boston: Pearson.
Yang, F. (2014). Rethinking China's Internet censorship: The practice of recoding and the politics of visibility. New Media & Society. doi:10.1177/1461444814555951