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Old 11th October 2007, 06:33 AM
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opinion: Why you should buy chinese .COM instead of .CN

blog post from Susan Crawford:

This report from Reporters Without Borders / Chinese Human Rights Defenders (http://www.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/Voyage_au...censure_GB.pdf) may be incomplete - and there’s no information from 2007 in it - but it’s worth reading. The report says:

China is the only country in the world to have tens of thousands of cyber-censors and cyber-police. . . Although their activities are a well-kept state secret, this report reveals their impressive ability to purge the Internet of news and information that embarrass[es] the government.

Unlicensed news sites, and licensed news sites publishing independently-gathered information, aren’t allowed.

News is centrally gathered by the government.

Text messages are sent by the government to instruct sites not to cover particular events or to delete articles or comments.

There is a great deal of self-censorship.

The Beijing government bureau that deals with the internet (where control of the internet is at its strictest) divides its orders into three categories — orders (to delete or edit) that have to be implemented within five minutes, orders that have to be implemented within ten minutes, and orders that have to be implemented within thirty minutes.

It goes on and on. Here’s a sample order:

Dear colleagues, regarding the death of a radio presenter while she was at the deputy mayor’s home, do not disseminate any reports, do not send any new articles, withdraw those that have already been posted on the site, and ensure that forums, blogs and messages no longer refer to this case.

Keyword censorship abounds - sites do it themselves. Any words having to do with the Tiananmen Square massacre have been banned. About 400-500 words are banned by sites.

The government has begun blocking RSS feeds, according to this ArsTechnica article (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...ss-feeds.html).

The Beijing Olympics are less than a year away. Here’s a blog post from China, thanks to Global Voices Online:

As I’ve come to understand …., things not beneficial to the Olympic Games’ radiant image are all being filtered out. So much in regards to this radiant image that, for example, even restoration to the sports stadiums has been forbidden to report on.
I really, really don’t know what it is the authorities are afraid of, or to what extent they’re afraid. Even our Party and government consistently express willingness to be subject to public scrutiny, so why do the Beijing Olympics have all-encompassing authority?
A modern human society ought to constitute a sophisticated and heterogeneous society, a pluralistic society which accepts various sorts of values.
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