Internet censorship in China – 2009

February 16, 2010

The Guardian, UK

Internet censorship in China

The creep of internet censorship in China: a timeline of the last 12 months

Tania Braniganguardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 January 2010 13.04 GMT

Customers use computers at an internet cafe in Taiyuan, ChinaCustomers use computers at an internet cafe in Taiyuan, China. Photograph: Reuters 
 

January

China launches a crackdown on “vulgar” websites including Google that it says have failed to censor inappropriate content. 

As the drive intensifies, observers warn it is affecting politically sensitive content too. 

Later in the month, Chinese media censors the inauguration speech of the US president, Barack Obama: state TV cuts away from the live feed after a reference to communism and leading websites remove the word from translated texts. 

March

China blocks YouTube after denouncing as “a lie” footage appearing to show security forces beating Tibetans in Lhasa last year. 

June

China blocks Twitter, Flickr and Hotmail days ahead of the 20th anniversary on the bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. 

Later in the month it blocks Google services, with search functions and Gmail inaccessible for over an hour. 

The biggest news of all is the massive outcry as the government orders PC makers to install its controversial censorship software, Green Dam

Following complaints from internet users, businesses and foreign governments the authorities back down, saying it will not be compulsory. 

July

Internet access is cut across the entire north-western region, home to more than 19 million people, after deadly ethnic riots in its capital. 

Some sites are later restored but as of January 2010 access remains extremely restricted. 

Facebook reports access problems and remains inaccessible from China as of January 2010. 

Later in the month the government says it plans to implement a five-year programme advocating clean online games, starting in 2010. It bans websites featuring or publicising online games that “glamorise mafia gangs”

August

The government drops its plan to install the controversial Green Dam software on every new computer sold in China, despite official comments the previous month that it would go ahead after all. 

September

It emerges that news websites in China have begun requiring new users to register their true identities before allowing them to post comments. 

November

Obama criticises internet controls during his visit to China, describing himself as “a big supporter of non-censorship”. 

December

The government says its campaign against pornography on the web and through mobile Wap sites will continue until May 2010. 

It later emerges China has issued new internet regulations, including what some interpret as an attempt to create a “whitelist” of approved websites that could potentially place much of the internet off-limits to Chinese readers, and ordering domain management institutions and internet service providers to tighten controls over domain name registration. 

At the end of the month police say the crackdown on internet porn has brought 5,394 arrests and 4,186 criminal case investigations during 2009. 

  
More on Guardian.co.uk:
 
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Google in China: all our coverage 

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/14/internet-censorship-china 

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2 Responses to “Internet censorship in China – 2009”

  1. Johnwb Says:

    I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don’t have suck a writing skills

  2. Paulvr Says:

    I would appreciate more visual materials, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. But there is always place for improvement


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