China trying new form of 'Internet censorship'

Jun 01, 2013
China is experimenting with more subtle methods to censor Internet search results ahead of the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, according to a group that monitors blocked websites in the country.

China is experimenting with more subtle methods to censor Internet search results ahead of the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, according to a group that monitors blocked websites in the country.

In the past, a search for keywords in China related to the events of June 4, 1989, came up with an explicit message saying: "According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results for (the blocked keyword) can not be displayed."

But GreatFire.org said in the lead up to the anniversary certain searches, such as "June 4 incident", had been intermittently returning a series of "carefully selected results", though it was impossible to click through to the actual webpages.

The organisation said this was an example of "censorship at its worst", with users duped into believing the keyword they were searching for was not a sensitive topic.

Troops killed hundreds of protesters during the pro-democracy protests in Beijing, but GreatFire.org said searches for "Tiananmen incident" returned links to an unrelated happening in the square from 1976.

It said the changes were not applied consistently, concluding that the authorities were conducting tests to improve their control systems.

The is purged of politically sensitive websites and Beijing closely monitors the hundreds of millions of to prevent organised dissent. Twitter, and are banned.

The system of online censorship is dubbed the "Great Firewall", a term combining the words "Great Wall" and computer "firewall".

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User comments : 3

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Neinsense99
3 / 5 (8) Jun 01, 2013
Ain't that just lovely. Reminds me to reinstall Tor...
alfie_null
not rated yet Jun 02, 2013
I wonder what results come from a search for "Great Firewall"? [from within China, of course]

Seems like a somewhat untenable situation. In China, once you become well integrated into an information-dependent industry (i.e. any growing industry), you become aware that this sort of censorship is happening. You also understand, of course, that you shouldn't make waves about it.

So, we end up with everyone understanding censorship is in effect. Probably many people knowing the things the government is trying to censor. But nobody admitting it. And further, everyone knows that everyone knows, etc. Crazy.
HTK
1 / 5 (1) Jun 02, 2013
Is there no stopping to this Chinese continual evil?