"Now the U.S. government is copying us and starting to build their own firewall"

The consensus here, however, appears to be this: Americans should try a minute in our shoes before invoking online Armageddon.

If anything, Chinese bloggers say, the debate underscores how privileged U.S. web-users and Internet companies are, even in times of duress.

“Only an American company could protest the way Wikipedia or Google has to the government,” said Zhao Jing, a closely-followed blogger in Beijing who uses the pen name Michael Anti. “A Chinese company would never get away with that.”…

“It’s hard for people in the U.S. to understand Internet censorship in China,” said Wen Yunchao, a prominent blogger and outspoken government critic who left mainland China recently for Hong Kong. “In China, all the government decisions are done in a dark box. No one knows what’s going on. There’s never any legal reason cited. If these laws are passed in the U.S., every step of the way it will be more transparent. People can challenge it. There’s no comparison when it comes to censorship in China and in the U.S.”