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Just a Reminder About Freedom: Blogging Comes With a Price

It is common knowledge that China has spent billions of dollars on creating the “Great Firewall of China”, known in official circles as the “Golden Shield”. This is essentially the blocking, mostly by keyword, of information the Chinese government feels is “unhealthy” for its citizens. This can range from political dissent to pornography.

Within the “Golden Shield”, China monitors and controls content to a large degree, and a number of recent regulations have been issued to refine and strengthen the system…In the most widely quoted section of the new regulations, news websites are strictly forbidden from providing any news content that compromises national security, divulges national secrets, impinges on the country’s social legal rights and interests, destroys the country’s unity, or includes any information that promotes or relates to pornography, violence, or illegal cults.

For the large and established online media outlets, it was business as usual, and it was clear that the main target of the new regulation was bulletin boards (BBS) like the Yannan forum, as well as blogs, which have enabled the coverage of sensitive events to leak into domestic discourse…Finding it impossible to control the opinions of thousands and thousands of bloggers, it is delegating responsibility to a number of favored internet service companies like Sina, Sohu or Bokee, who will employ a system of self-censorship and delete posts that might be regarded as offensive or politically sensitive…

…The recently released internet news rules are an attempt to bring independent blogs and bulletin boards under the aegis of the country’s news management system, but they have not sealed the leaks, and overseas-registered websites still continue to publish rumors directly from the sources of Chinese dissent.

Cloak and daggers in cyberspace – dark tales from China’s Internet

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