Private Sector Firms Utilizing Corporate Pressure/Corporate Responsibility to deal with China’s Great Firewall

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Please provide a response with at least 8 pages in length (not including bibliography), double-spaced, with 12 pt font and 1in margins by 11pm/23:00 (Pacific Time-USA) on Saturday, 14 December 2019.

Please respond utilizing at least six scholarly sources. See attachments as possibly some important sources

Your choice of APA, MLA, or Chicago citation style, so long as it is consistent

Of the various actors (see attachment “Power Plays in Global Internet Governance”) associated with Global Communication & Media Policy (GCMP) such as other state governments, NGOs, global policy mechanisms, and private sector firms, please attempt to show why private sector firms headquartered or based out of non-repressive states are best equipped to pressure The People’s Republic of China into increasing freedom of communication. Please include a couple mini-case studies (if found) of private sector firms either attempting to pressure China and/or succumbing to Chinese pressure in order to better illustrate the potential relationships discussed here.

Overall Research Proposal/Idea:

Together the utilization and enforcement of legislation and technology to control the internet in the People’s Republic of China is known as the Great Firewall. Because of its restrictive policies towards internet content, China is known as a repressive state. One might assume that if a repressed state simply opened up its internet more to its citizens then democratization will naturally follow. However, Rebecca MacKinnon (see attached “China’s Networked Authoritarianism”) discusses how the issues are more complex with authoritarian regimes often adapting to the network communication. In other words, repressive states, such as China, realize that internet access is inevitable and needed among its citizens, but they can adapt through network authoritarianism to limit or control the internet content, but not internet access itself. MacKinnon discusses how average citizens in a network authoritarian state may feel somewhat more freedom compared to what was given in the past, and thus may be willing to go along with the regimes of the repressive state under network authoritarianism. For a citizen of a non-repressive state, this may seem like a false sense of freedom, but for an average citizen of that repressive state, it may seem like better than what was allowed before. It should also be noted that even non-repressive states such as the United States limit or control the content of certain communications in various contexts for the social interest or even the interest of the state. MacKinnon goes on mentioning the larger issues of government policy and corporate responsibility in regards to dealing with Chinese authoritarianism.

Perhaps by exercising corporate responsibility in regards to dealing with Chinese authoritarianism, private sector firms, especially those which directly supply surveillance technology to China, are best equipped to leverage their power and pressure the Chinese state to loosen control over surveillance and internet censorship. However, private firms, largely driven by corporate profits, must be willing or pressured to exercise corporate responsibility. Derek Bambauer (see link below) hints at this idea of corporate responsibility in regards to the discussion of Cisco (the maker of PoliceNet). According to Bambauer, Cisco is one of many U.S.-based companies which have made huge profits capitalizing off of the repressive Chinese state. Most companies or firms have a code of ethics, mission statement, et cetera that guides their work. Although most private firms are driven by corporate profits over social change, if private firms, (particularly those that are responsible for producing sophisticated surveillance technology and selling said technology to repressive states) exercised social and corporate responsibility, this private firm pressure may become a persuasive factor for a repressive state to change some of its internet restrictions and censorship. Private sector firms may need to be pressured by their non-repressive governments wherein they are based, or by the consumer citizens within those non-repressive states in order to elevate values and social change over profits. These private sector firms seem to be in the best position to exert the pressure needed on repressive states such as China. Indeed of the various actors associated with Global Communication & Media Policy (GCMP) such as other states, NGOs, global policy mechanisms, and private sector firms, this research paper will attempt to show why private sector firms based out of non-repressive states are best equipped to pressure China into increasing freedom of communication.

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