A battle is brewing in Tibet about the regulation of Xerox machines and copiers. The government is trying to impose tighter regulations on the devices, which is being met with resistance by the local population who see it as a way to crack down on the free flow of information. The new requirements include tighter permits for print shops and print shop owners to take down information about their customers.
It is no secret that China actively pursues and punishes Tibetan separatists and dissidents of all sorts. Trying to crack down on subversion by more tightly regulating copiers, however, represents a new step. It is unclear if further regulations are forthcoming. Chinese authorities claim the new regulations are in place simply to ensure economic and social stability in Tibet. China has, in the past, banned music, writing and other information that is critical of the government or called for Tibetan autonomy. Information in the native Tibetan language is also suppressed.
It is unclear what effect, if any, these new regulations will have on Tibetan dissidents or the Tibetan population at large. No new rules were announced regulating the private use of printers and home devices, though those are not widespread in Tibetan homes.