Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Algeria Australia Austria Belarus Bhutan Canada PR China Cuba East Germany France Germany Hong Kong India IranThe Great Firewall Italy Republic of Ireland Israel Japan Malaysia Myanmar Pakistan Poland Portugal Samoa Saudi Arabia Singapore South Asia Sudan North Korea Soviet Union Sweden Taiwan (R.O.C.) Thailand Tunisia Turkey United Kingdom United States Advertisements Anime Books Banned films Re-edited films Internet Music Video games MTV
Book burning Bleep censor Content-control software Pixelization Postal censorship Prior restraint Self-censorship Tape delay Whitewashing Corporate censorship Under fascist regimes Political censorship In religion Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. In accordance with these laws, more than sixty Internet regulations have been made by the People's Republic of China (PRC) government, and censorship systems are vigorously implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, business companies, and organizations. has been known for some time, attention is mostly focused on their work as censors and monitors. Countless critical comments appearing on Internet forums, bulletin boards, blogs, vlogs or any major portals such as Sohu and Sina are usually erased within minutes.


Main article: Golden Shield Project Golden Shield Project
Some commonly used methods for censoring content are: Technical information
See also: List of notable websites blocked in the People's Republic of China
Research into mainland Chinese Internet censorship has shown that censored websites include:
Blocked websites are indexed to a lesser degree, if at all, by some Chinese search engines, such as Baidu and Google China. This sometimes has considerable impact on search results. These sites include Voice of America, BBC News, and Yahoo! Hong Kong
Sites related with Taiwan government, media, or other organizations, including sites dedicated to religious content, such as CBETA, a site that provides the complete Chinese Buddhist canon
Web sites that contain obscenity, pornography and criminal activity
Sites linked with the Dalai Lama and his International Tibet Independence Movement, including his teachings Censored content

Search engines
Several Bulletin Board Systems in universities were closed down or restricted public access since 2004, including the SMTH BBS and the YTHT BBS.

Although blocking foreign sites has received much attention in the West, this is actually only a part of the PRC effort to censor the Internet. The ability to censor content providers within mainland China is much more effective, as the ISPs and other service providers are restricting customers' actions for fear of being found legally liable for customers' conduct. The service providers have assumed an editorial role with regard to customer content, thus became publishers, and legally responsible for libel and other torts committed by customers.
Although the government does not have the physical resources to monitor all Internet chat rooms and forums, the threat of being shut down has caused Internet content providers to employ internal staff, colloquially known as "big mamas", who stop and remove forum comments which may be politically sensitive. In Shenzhen, these duties are partly taken over by a pair of police-created cartoon characters, Jingjing and Chacha, who help extend the online 'police presence' of the Shenzhen authorities.
However, Internet content providers have adopted some counter-strategies. One is to go forth posting politically sensitive stories and removing them only when the government complains. In the hours or days in which the story is available online, people read it, and by the time the story is taken down, the information is already public. One notable case in which this occurred was in response to a school explosion in 2001, when local officials tried to suppress the fact the explosion resulted from children illegally producing fireworks. By the time local officials forced the story to be removed from the Internet, the news had already been widely disseminated.
In addition, Internet content providers often replace censored forum comments with white space which allows the reader to know that comments critical of the authorities had been submitted, and often to guess what they might have been.
In July 2007, the city of Xiamen announced it would ban anonymous online postings after text messages and online communications were used to rally protests against a proposed chemical plant in the city. Internet users will be required to provide proof of identify when posting messages on the more than 100,000 Web sites registered in Xiamen.

Local businesses
One controversial issue is whether foreign companies should supply equipment which assists in the blocking of sites to the PRC government. Some argue that it is wrong for companies to profit from censorship including restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Others argue that equipment being supplied, from companies such as the American based Cisco Systems Inc., is standard Internet infrastructure equipment and that providing this sort of equipment actually aids the flow of information, and that the PRC is fully able to create its own infrastructure without Western help. By contrast, human rights advocates such as Human Rights Watch and media groups such as Reporters Without Borders argue that if companies would stop contributing to the authorities' censorship efforts the government could be forced to change.
A similar dilemma faces foreign content providers such as Yahoo!, AOL, Google and Skype who abide by PRC government wishes, including having internal content monitors, in order to be able to operate within mainland China. Also, in accordance with mainland Chinese laws, Microsoft began to censor the content of its blog service Windows Live Spaces, arguing continuing to provide Internet services is more beneficial to the Chinese.

International corporations

May 9th 2007, Mr. Yetaai (冬劲) sued Shanghai Telecom, a sub-company of China Telecom. Because one of his sites was blocked from access in China. He then took a series of steps including raising maintenance request and notarization. His lawsuit was accepted by Pu Dong Court, Shanghai. Mr. Yetaai reported it through his online diary (English). He also raised an item for online ticketing through
Interestingly, both digg and blogspot are blocked in China.

Legal action
Although restrictions on political information remain as strong as ever, several sexually oriented blogs began appearing in early 2004. Women using the web aliases Muzi Mei (木子美) and Zhuying Qingtong (竹影青瞳) wrote online diaries of their sex lives and became minor celebrities. This was widely reported and criticized in mainland Chinese news media, and several of these bloggers' sites were blocked in China and remain so today. This has coincided with an artistic nude photography fad (including a self-published book by dancer Tang Jiali) and the appearance of pictures of minimally clad women or even topless photos in a few mainland Chinese newspapers, magazines and websites. It is too soon to tell how far this trend will go, but increasingly, censorship is applicable to political content rather than to sexuality. This does not hold true for many dating and "adult chat" sites, both Chinese and foreign, which have been blocked. Some, however, continue to be accessible although this appears to be due more to the Chinese government's ignorance of their existence than any particular policy of leniency.
In 2005, The Register reported that up to 20,000 Chinese regularly chat undressed.

Liberalization of sexually oriented content
On November 7, 2005 an alliance of investors and researchers representing twenty-six companies in the U.S., Europe and Australia with over US $21 billion in joint assets announced that they were urging businesses to protect freedom of expression and pledged to monitor technology companies that do business in countries violating human rights, such as China. On December 21, 2005 the UN, OSCE and OAS special mandates on freedom of expression called on Internet corporations to "work together ... to resist official attempts to control or restrict use of the Internet."

Efforts at breaking through

Blocking of Wikipedia in mainland China
Censorship in the People's Republic of China
Internet in the People's Republic of China
Media in mainland China
International Freedom of Expression Exchange - monitors Internet censorship in China
Human rights in the People's Republic of China
Jingjing and Chacha
NHK Special "Dynamic China" series

  • (Japanese) 激流中国
    (Chinese) 激流中國

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