Via The Australian:
The Papua New Guinea government’s plan to ban Facebook — the platform favoured by vitriolic domestic critics — for a period is only the latest in a succession of threats to clamp down on internet use.
But this time, the nation may be in a better position to take action since it is forging closer links with its Chinese counterpart — the world’s leading internet censor.
…Discussion has already begun towards the prospect of negotiating a free-trade agreement between PNG and China, reinforcing a relationship that is highlighted by a $4.6 billion concessional credit line already made available by China for PNG.
…The internet was launched in PNG on March 12, 1997. By 2014, when users were last surveyed, only about 10 per cent of the country’s eight million people had access, compared with the half who now have access to mobile phones as a result of the drive by Irish company Digicel.
This online community in PNG, however, includes a disproportionate number of people who consistently post material highly critical — sometimes defamatory — of leading figures in the government, including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
Next up, PNG democracy fading into a Beijing-anointed strongman leader with a Chinese military base to hang over Australia’s head.