White House petition asks to ban GFW developers

By Chang Meng Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-28 1:43:01

A recent petition submitted to the official website of the White House called on the Obama administration to deny visas to the US to people who assist Internet censorship, listing the names of three Chinese experts.

"If some of them use their skills and technology for blocking people to use internet for certain governments, all the other countries should boycott such behavior. If they apply to enter U.S., for example to attendant (sic) technology conference, as a responsible government has always valued freedom, it reasonable to deny it," reads the grammatically -challenged petition that was first posted on Friday.

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by February 24 in order to get an official review and response from the administration staff. As of Sunday it had gathered nearly 6,000 supporters.

It is unknown who initiated the petition but the mention of the three Chinese technology experts who are working on China's Great Firewall (GFW), stirred a lot of debate on China's social networks.

Some supported the petition, but other Web users argue that the petition hinders the rights of scholars to express their opinions.

Fang Binxing, the designer of the GFW who is named in the petition, told the Global Times that he had not heard about the petition and said he would not let it bother him after experiencing years of controversy over the Internet surveillance system he invented.

"I did experience some trouble obtaining a US visa to attend a conference held by the United Nations, but it was resolved after negotiations with DC," he said, adding that experts only develop the technology while the government operates it.

Posted in: Society, IT

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