La Cina continua la censura dell’internet

Il Governo Cinese ha lentamente ripreso la censura dell’internet bloccando siti che erano accessibili durante le Olimpiadi.  Il sito cinese di Asiaweek, una pubblicazione di Hong Kong, ed i siti della BBC, di Voice of America e di Ming Pao, un giornale di Hong Kong, non sono piu’ accessibili dall’inizio di dicembre.  Segue l’articolo in inglese di Keith Bradsher del New York Times.
HONG KONG — The Chinese government has quietly begun preventing access again to Web sites that it had stopped blocking during the Olympic Games in August, Internet experts said Tuesday.

Liu Jianchao, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said at his semiweekly news conference Tuesday in Beijing that the Chinese government had a right to censor Web sites that violate the country’s laws.

He added that “some Web sites,” which he did not identify, had violated China’s law against secession by suggesting that there are two Chinas — a reference to the Beijing government’s longstanding position that mainland China and Taiwan form a single China.

“I hope that the Web sites in question will be able to self-regulate, and not do things that will violate Chinese law, and for the sake of both sides, develop conditions for Web site cooperation,” Liu said, according to a transcript posted on the Foreign Ministry’s Web site.

Rebecca MacKinnon, a specialist in Internet restrictions at Hong Kong University, said Chinese authorities had recently resumed blocking access to her blog from mainland computers.

“It does appear that in the last week a lot of things got reblocked that were unblocked during the Olympics,” she said. “I have not written about the two Chinas issue arguably in the past year; it is not what I focus on.”

The government’s action comes as the Chinese economy has slowed sharply this autumn. Leaders have begun cautioning about risks to social stability caused by high unemployment.

Chinese officials have followed a pattern of censoring the Internet more tightly at times of economic or political stress.

Asiaweek, a Hong Kong-based publication, reported this week that the Chinese-language version of its Web site, as well as those of the BBC, Voice of America and Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper, had been blocked since early December.

At the news conference, Liu defended China’s monitoring of the Internet by saying that other countries also restricted access to some Web sites.

The Chinese government “needs to do the required management of Web sites based on the law, just as what other countries are doing,” he said.

In recent days, Britain and Australia have both moved to limit the distribution of child pornography over the Internet. Germany requires search engines not to show links to Web sites linked to Nazi activity.

But MacKinnon noted that, in contrast to other countries, the Chinese government defines crime very broadly, imposes censorship with little if any explanation and provides no process for operators of blocked Web sites to appeal. She added that even when entire Web sites are not blocked, the government still sometimes limits certain keyword searches.


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