Would you like a Coke with that?

According to a recent report:

Coca-Cola recently signed a three year deal with Shanghai based Internet cafe chain Eastday to sell its beverage products in Eastday’s Internet cafes, Oriental Morning Post reports. Eastday will assist Coca-Cola in promotions.

In other news, China has launched a”seasonal campaign” against cafe’s to restrict access to minors. Internet cafe’s in China remain under heavy surveillance although not every action taken to regulate cafe’s should be interpreted as an attack on freedom of speech. As my colleague Derek pointed out a while back “[t]here a tendency to see Chinese actions through the lens of political opposition and dissent” which can be rather simplistic.

However, normalizing heavy surveillance, even in cafe where people are more likely to be playng CounterStrike and WorldofWarcraft rather than engaging in political dissent, does have a broader significance. Just as filtering for pornography, for example, is usually the initial reason for implemnting Internet filtering which begins to transition to political censorship, once the technology and policies are in place governments cannot resist expanding its use. This is what many fear will happen with all the security and surveillance equipment being sold to China for the 2008 Olympics.

Who’s got stock in China Security & Surveillance Technology Inc. ?

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