New bureaus in China regulate social networks and foreign newsgathering.

Posted: 23 Apr 2010

New York Times, 16 Apr 2010, Jonathan Ansfeld: "China has quietly formed a new bureau expected to help to police social networking sites and other user-driven forums on the Internet, which are proving harder for the government to monitor and control than ordinary news portals. ... The new agency, officially called the Internet news coordination bureau, is part of this effort to better monitor the communications of Chinese Web users, who total nearly 400 million by official estimates. Chinese officials consider tools like social networking, microblogging and video-sharing sites a major vulnerability. In the past year, they have been forced to block access in China of overseas video and networking giants like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and suspend several upstart Chinese look-alikes, over information they deem subversive. ... [P]ublic acknowledgment of the addition only came last week, after The New York Times submitted a question about the overhaul. The next day, the Information Office altered a page on its Web site to reflect the new Internet bureau. It also unveiled another new bureau, devoted to regulating foreign news and information outlets that conduct business in China."
Epoch Times, 21 Apr 2010, Yu Shan: "Over the past decade of China’s communist regime filtering the Internet, a handful of anticensorship software called fan qiang (literally meaning 'climb over a wall') has successfully broken through the Internet blockade. The best known of these are the 'Five Knights': FreeGate, UltraSurf, GardenNetwork, GPass and FirePhoenix, which have all been developed by overseas Falun Gong practitioners. Users in China told Sound of Hope Radio (SOH) that the 'Five Knights' have become the essential tools for many in China. They say the firewall becomes almost nonexistent when using the 'Five Knights.'" Well, maybe. Support for organizations that send content into China depends on assurances that the content is actually getting through. I would like to hear from some objective internet experts about this.
Washington Post, Apr 21 2010, Cecilia Kang: Google "disclosed how often it receives requests for private information from government authorities around the globe, as well as demands to censor its applications. The company said it hopes to shed light on the practices of governments and on a growing push to block information on the Web. ... Google showed that Brazil and the United States made the most requests for private user data from July to December of 2009. ... Brazil and Germany topped the list for nations demanding the removal of online material." See also Google press release, 20 Apr 2010.

Copyright 2006–2019 Kim Andrew Elliott.