Friday, March 26, 2004

China Bans Blogs

All and hosted sites are banned in China starting this morning, a week after China has agreed to amend its constitution to respect human rights. This is another move by the Central government to curb free speech and freedom of information on the Internet.

Someone tell me again why we're friends with China but enemies with Cuba. Maybe BushCo. is envious of the absolute stranglehold that China has on their media. After all, if Bush had that kind of ability to censor TV, nespapers and the Internet, he wouldn't have to worry about people like Richard Clarke spoiling his plans for corporate hegemony.

Note to fellow Bloggers: get the word out. Post about this, then send an e-mail or ping to Yan at Glutter and let her know your voice is part of the chorus. She's a Hong Kong blogger, and would very much appreciate your support.

Update, via USAToday:

SHANGHAI รณ China has shut down a pair of Web sites that were free-ranging user forums known as blogs, stepping up government attempts to control political discussion on the Internet, a media watchdog group reported even as one site reappeared Friday.

However, a note Friday on the page of the second site,, said it was still closed due to content problems. (Related story: China bans PC game)

"Because individual postings contained forbidden content, the server is temporarily down. We will seek a speedy resolution to the problem," said a message on the site's Web page.

The other site, identified by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders as, said its page had shut down for "server upgrading" but made no mention of any forced closure due the content. It appeared to be restored on Friday.

China has enthusiastically promoted use of the Internet for commercial applications, but battles to prevent it becoming a forum for criticism of the Communist Party. A special team of police monitors Web sites and chat rooms for sensitive content.

Thanks to Elayne Riggs for pointing out the misinformation and shame on me for not checking my sources. This is still a bad thing as censorship of any kind is simply wrong but it changes the issue slightly that it's China-based Blog hosts that are being banned, rather than International based hosts. It makes the issue a lot more murky, as it's unkwon as of yet if these Chinese blogs were just engaging in free speach or in actual sedition (though in China, they are often considdered synonyms).


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