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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In recent years, China has eased on its tight-fisted control over Internet access to certain social networking sites. Typically, access would only denied leading up to certain infamous events such as the Tiananmen Square student protests. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears to have changed their policy direction. Several prominent social networking sites have been blocked in China since as early as March of this year.

Wikipedia supplies an ongoing list of blocked websites in China. Here is a sample:

  • Chinese Wikipedia (certain articles are also blocked in English Wikipedia)
  • YouTube (since March 2009 - previously blocked several times)
  • FlickR
  • Yahoo
  • certain Blogspot blogs (I am currently unaware if this blog is accessible in China. I will post an update when I know.)
The Associated Press article also lists the following sites as currently blocked in response to the ethnic uprising in turbulent Xinjiang Provence. Apparently, China is willing to take actions that the Iranian government was either unwilling or unable to do during their protests.
  • Facebook
  • Fanfou (Chinese site similar to Twitter - Twitter was recently unblocked)
Thankfully, prominent Chinese bloggers have not remained silent over the increased government invasion into their web access. According to Wen Yunchao, a popular blogger from Guangzhou (a large city in southern China, near Hong Kong):
I am especially pessimistic about this fall and next spring. I expect they will be more and more restrictive because they have yet to come up with a good way to manage the Internet. They are aware that it has this great power and they are afraid of it.
I will post updates on any major developments, but don't expect any kind of uprising in China over this. They are still at least 10-20 years away from the kind of mass-social unrest we saw earlier this year in Iran.

Posted by Eleutherian

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