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Journey into China’s Internet Censorship October 10, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News.

An activist working undercover at a Chinese Internet company has exposed Beijing’s online censorship, surveillance and propaganda system to strangle dissent ahead of the Olympics. His investigation released today by Reporters Without Borders and Chinese Human Rights Defenders reveals details of recent mechanisms to silence opposition and block online expression.

The author who uses the pen name “Mr Tao” says prior to 2005, the Beijing authorities had not really organised an Internet control system. Now he says there are at least five federal bodies whose job is to distribute propaganda online, monitor websites, control Internet companies, and clamp down on transgressors.

From Reporters Without Borders Online

China now has more than 160 million Web users and at least 1.3 million Websites. But the Web’s promise of free expression and information has been nipped in the bud. According to the report, the Beijing Internet Information Administrative Bureau, the most active of the censorship departments, asserts daily editorial control over leading news sites based in Beijing.

The report documents how the bureau bans news ahead of time, orders takedowns, and demands publication of propaganda by major Web companies including Yahoo! China and Baidu, the world’s second-biggest search engine after Google. There are up to 500 banned keywords which companies self-censor behind the Great Firewall. For example, all references to the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre – June 4 1989 – are taboo.

To help Web users stay a step ahead of Beijing’s big red pen, the report recommends using the latest Web communication tools before authorities become aware of them. It gives tips on using proxy servers and anonymising services such as Tor, exploiting the different levels of censorship between provinces or between levels in the administration and using Web technologies such as blogs, discussion forums and Internet telephony.

Read the full report Journey to The Heart of Internet Censorship.

Related read:
China, One Olympic, One Voice?



1. Journey into China’s Internet Censorship - October 10, 2007

[…] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

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