China takes new steps to "make the internet clean again."

Posted: 29 Dec 2012   Print   Send a link
New York Times, IHT Rendezvous, 23 Dec 2012, Mark McDonald: "China appears to have reinforced its Internet firewall in recent days, blocking some of the leading services that allow people on the mainland to access forbidden sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. International business transactions also are being affected, Internet analysts said. The New York Times Web site remains 100 percent blocked on the mainland, along with the Chinese-language edition of The Times and Rendezvous. ... The daily newspaper Global Times, affiliated with the Communist Party, acknowledged the firewall had been 'upgraded,' but it also warned that foreign providers of VPN services were operating illegally."

Los Angeles Times, 27 Dec 2012, David Pierson: "For years, China’s net nannies turned the other cheek to a loophole in their vast online censorship apparatus. Anyone who wanted access to blocked overseas websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and more recently, the New York Times, need only download foreign software called a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent the Great Firewall. But in recent weeks, even these tools have begun to falter, frustrating tech-savvy Chinese and foreign businesspeople who now struggle to access Internet sites as innocuous as and The tightening appears to be part of a broader and continuing campaign to rein in the Internet in China, which boasts nearly 600 million users and challenges the government’s monopoly on information every day."

AP, 27 Dec 2012, Joe McDonald: "In June, Bloomberg News reported that [Chinese leader Xi Jinping's] extended family has amassed assets totaling $376 million, though it said none was traced to Xi. The government has blocked access to Bloomberg’s website since then. In October, The New York Times reported that Premier Wen Jiabao’s relatives had amassed $2.7 billion since he rose to national office in 2002. Access to the Times’ Chinese-language site has been blocked since then."

China Media Project, 27 Dec 2012: David Bandurski: "On December 24, an editorial on the official web platform of the People’s Daily ... said 'lines of conduct' should be stipulated and supervision enhanced online in order to 'restrain irresponsible rumors, restrain the leakage of personal information, and make the internet clean again.'"

Tech in Asia, 28 Dec 2012, Steven Millward: "And so the new law will criminalize companies who do not censor the web with the kind of speed and efficiency that the law now dictates. ... It’s surely only a matter of time before one Chinese web company is held criminally responsible for content posted on its service. And what will happen then? A fine? The jailing of the relevant member of staff?"