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ARCHIVES: State Control

October 24, 2005

To Go Global, Do You Ignore Censorship?

IT'S bad enough when newspaper editorials, Western human rights groups and ordinary American customers condemn your company for bowing to the Chinese dictatorship and contributing to oppression. But when the outrage begins rising, at great personal risk, from dissident voices trapped inside that dictatorship, well, that has to hurt. Or not. Yahoo has suffered a good deal of opprobrium after it was revealed last month that, when government officials came calling, the company's Hong Kong division... MORE
October 21, 2005

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia censored

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Chinese authorities to stop blocking accessing to the website of the independent online encyclopedia Wikipedia, whose popularity has been growing steadily in China. The site has been unavailable in several provinces including Shanghai since 18 October. This latest online censorship paradoxically comes at a moment when China is openly raising the issue of democracy by publishing its first white paper entitled "The construction of political democracy... MORE
October 20, 2005

The future of dissent: hacking Chinese censorship

Since the spread of the internet in the mid-nineties, privacy concerns have increased exponentially. Cyberspace has often been equated to Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, or to a new, digital version of George Orwell’s Big Brother, capable of seeing and controlling everything and everyone. This rather dystopic vision has rightly generated fear and distrust of the web. Recently, the thickening bonds between authorities and internet companies and the development of the net for political control have... MORE
October 9, 2005

Battle blogging for profit

AS BLOGS become big business, Internet giants have begun trying to profit from new forms of journalism, including war coverage. The results are not encouraging. Yahoo's latest experiment reveals that it considers war news just another form of entertainment. This from an online giant that has already shown it is cavalier about press freedom and a friend of oppression. Look back to 2004, when reporters at a Hunan province newspaper listened as their editorial director read a statement from the... MORE
October 7, 2005

Open Letter to Jerry Yang Regarding the Arrest of Shi Tao

Mr. Yang, My name is Liu Xiaobo. I was born in Changchun, China, in 1955, and am now a freelance writer in Beijing. I can't address you as the "respectful Mr. Yang", because I write this letter for the sake of my friend Shi Tao, who is now in a Chinese prison. In preparation for writing this letter, I read your resume for the first time and learned that you co-created the Yahoo! Internet navigational guide in April 1994, along with David Filo, and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995, which has... MORE
October 2, 2005

Xinhua is world's largest propaganda machine, alleges RSF

On the eve of the 56th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has released a report of an investigation into the role of the news agency Xinhua News Agency in the system of propaganda and censorship put in place by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With less than three years to go before the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, the worldwide press freedom organisation has urged the Chinese government to reform the state-run media agency. Although it is more and... MORE
September 29, 2005

Q&A: China's New Internet Restrictions

China's new Internet rules China tightened its already stringent regulations on Internet content this week. A September 25 statement from the Ministry of Information Industry banned "subversive" material–including pornography, criticism of the government, and sensitive topics like Tibet and Taiwan independence–from the country's computer networks. Instead, only "healthy, civilized news and information beneficial to the nation" can be posted, the ministry said. It is already a crime in China to... MORE
September 8, 2005

Costly foot in the door

A statement this week from Reporters Without Borders will make unsettling reading for foreign companies eager to join China's internet boom. The press freedom watchdog accused the US internet portal Yahoo of helping Chinese authorities to identify and convict a local journalist of leaking state secrets. In April, Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sending foreigners an e-mail that Chinese authorities alleged contained state secrets. Reporters Without Borders said Yahoo's Hong Kong... MORE
September 8, 2005

Privacy International demands Yahoo boycott

The human-rights group is calling for action over claims Yahoo is 'cheerfully sacrificing human rights in return for a cut of the Chinese market'. Privacy International (PI) has called on Internet users to boycott Yahoo over allegations that the Web giant provided information that helped Chinese officials convict a journalist accused of leaking state secrets. Simon Davies, director of PI, described Yahoo's actions a "reprehensible" on Wednesday. "This is a disreputable episode. Western... MORE
July 5, 1999

India blocks Pakistani newspaper web site

According to PPF, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), India's sole gateway to the Internet, has blocked the web site of Pakistan's leading English language daily newspaper, "Dawn". According to "The Times of India", Internet users in India have been unable to connect to the "Dawn" website for more than a week. A VSNL official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told "The Times of India" that the company had blocked access to the Karachi-based newspaper's site. Only those users on privately leased... MORE