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Chinese protest BBS crackdown

Qinghuademo1_1 Qinghuademo2_2

Photos: 2005.3.18 Fete-Day for SMTH BBS on Community.webshots.com

Xiao Qiang reports at China Digital Times that Chinese students have been protesting vigorously online – and more cautiously offline – after Chinese authorities began restricting access to some of China's most influential online bulletin boards . Xiao reports:

From March 16, some of the most influential University BBS (Bulletin Board System) in China, including the one of Tsinghua University (smth.org), Peking University (ytht.org) and Nanjing University (lilybbs.org), have been restricted to users with an IP inside the university only. That means public users, who make remarkable contribution to the conversation, are not able to access these BBS any more. Before, these BBS hosted very active public forums and attracted millions of registered visitors inside and outside the university. Protests have been organized around Chinese universities. People are calling it an insult on the freedom of speech, but soon their posts were deleted and their voice stifled by university administration.

Read his full report for all the details.

Interestingly, there is already a technorati tag UPDATE: A better Technorati tag.

For those of you who can't read Chinese blogs, Danwei is all over the story. Fons Tuinstra is also on the case.

Seems like the press is so busy covering Condi Rice they haven't bothered with this story yet.

UPDATE: Isaac Mao has this reaction:

I wrote on CNBlog that not only BBS is dying in China as a majoy window to watch China's public voice, but also those centralized Blog hosting services. They are all very easy to be blocked or orderred to shut down by gov. I'm happy to see that more and more netcitzen and bloggers realized it and moving to more distributed blogging solutions.

But another funny thing is that China government is commanding all internet web sites to register(including personal web sites)[via zheng]. If you have a web site hosting in China, e.g. abc.com, you should register under China gov central database first. They want to control the whole internet in this way, but I think it's so foolish they didn't understand how huge the web will be and the explosion of internet objects will eventually flood their stupid effort.

3 comments

  • Honestly, I’m somewhat surprised that they don’t just keep the BBS open, but employ better tracking. People tend to speak a bit looser when online and many people don’t know how to hide their tracks online. The Chinese government could potentially be sitting on an information mine when looking for dissidents and malcontents. *shrug* Although I guess, on the flip side, that there’s a risk of rebellious statements gaining credence in the eyes of the people because they were not suppressed.

  • China’s BBS network seems quite alive to me. Last weekend the Chinese began spreading my website address across their BBS network and my site is now presently receiving more than 1000 hits per day. This is quite a surprise and I think it’s great.

    http://www.newsmax.invisionenterprise.com/submitware/

    http://www.freepgs.com/ledbetter/submitware/

  • […] China has restricted access to popular university bulletin boards to IP addresses, and thus users, within the universities’ systems. This has led to protests by students and others, as recorded by blogs such as Global Voices, Rebecca MacKinnon, and Isaac Mao. […]

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