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Threat to Chinese blogs

Reporters Without Borders has issued a press release today voicing alarm at “the Chinese government's announced intention to close down all China-based websites and blogs that are not officially registered.” The following paragraph is cause for concern:

A China-based blogger told Reporters Without Borders on condition of anonymity that the Shanghai police recently rendered his website inaccessible because it had not been registered. He then phoned the MII [Ministry of Information Industry] to ask what he had to do in order to register, and was told that in his case it was “not worth bothering” because “there was no chance of an independent blog getting permission to publish.”

Meanwhile, the Russian Interfax news agency reports China is using a system called Night Crawler “to block access to websites that have not been registered with authorities.”

We hope to have some updates with first-hand information here at Global Voices.

Andrea at T-Salon is also on top of latest developments.
Other news reports include:

..and if you haven't read it yet, you must read Steve Cherry's “The Net Effect: As China's Internet Gets a Much-Needed Makeover, Will the New Network Promote Freedom or Curtail It?”

Also keep an eye on China Digital Times for updates and links.

UPDATES:
(4:58pm EST) Nart Villeneuve of CitizenLab has an excellent analysis of what “night crawler” likely can and cannot do, based on the descriptions of it.

Andrea Leung of T-Salon emails to say: “FYI. Beijing's Public Security Bureau has just lauched a new web-registration drive on May 31 targetting Beijing-based sites and site owners. The campaign aims to prevent and clean out computer viruses on websites.” She points to this Chinese article about it on Sohu.com.

9 comments

  • China Curtails Free Speech Pt. XVIII

    I’ve heard so much about how China is going to be a dominant economic player in the 21st Century as America was in the 20th. Then I read things like this…

  • If you were a Chinese blogger, would you tell the government your name?

    They used to say you can’t censor the internet. Tell that to the Chinese government. They have announced that all China-based websites and blogs that are not officially registered with the government before 30 June will be shut down and/or

  • J O

    Can’t we all just massively Ping or Doss that Nightcrawler system?

  • Deja Vu

    The tiny Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain was meant to be an example of democracy and freedom in the Middle East. Instead it seems to be inspired a totalitarian communist monolith.

  • […] n Shanghai via Skype to get some clarification and detail about how the latest regulations requiring bloggers to register in China are actually being implemented – and inte […]

  • […] n Shanghai via Skype to get some clarification and detail about how the latest regulations requiring bloggers to register in China are actually being implemented – and inte […]

  • just stick to your msn blog then you have no problems or just don’t knock the governrment.

    Luke
    http://www.shanghaiguide.com
    http://www.ddsclub.com

  • […] is the perilous situation of bloggers located in China; apparently they’ve been required to register in order to blog, but I don’t have the latest on that. I should mention that there are all […]

  • […] is the perilous situation of bloggers located in China; apparently they’ve been required to register in order to blog, but I don’t have the latest on that. I should mention that there are all sorts […]

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