01/10/2009, 00.00
CHINA
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China, new crackdown on the web. Blog site closed

Bullog.cn, founded in 2006 by Luo Yonghao, has been blocked because it gathered "dangerous" information on Chinese "political and current affairs." In recent days, 41 sites have been blocked for presenting content that is allegedly vulgar and contrary to morality. Closure also threatened for Google, Baidu, MySpace, and MSN.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Yesterday, the Beijing authorities who control internet traffic blocked the portal Bullog.cn, a free blog publishing site highly valued in Chinese cultural circles.

Bullog.cn was founded in 2006 by Luo Yonghao, a university professor and an internet and blogging pioneer in China, highly appreciated by young people in the country because he has always frankly expressed his own opinions. He has confirmed that the portal has been closed for, according to Beijing, "picking up harmful information on political and current affairs."

The website created by Luo Yonghao had been blocked and reopened twice in the past: as of now, it has not been said whether the closure is definitive, or if it is a temporary provision. In the meantime, protests have mounted on the web: various bloggers have protested against the decision of the authorities, and say they are "infuriated" and "speechless." Bullog.cn had distinguished itself in the past for reporting, in real time, the protests against the construction of the chemical plant in Xiamen, in the southern province of Fujian.

In recent days, the Chinese government has taken a hard line on the web, closing 41 internet sites guilty of spreading "vulgar" content, which "harm public morality." Beijing has issued warnings against internet giants including Google, Baidu, MySpace, and MSN, telling them they must "eliminate all links" to material that is "pornographic" or contrary "to morality." This harmful material also includes images or comments that are "critical" of the government or of policies on the economy and human rights.

The campaign of "web cleansing" launched by the communist party is added to efforts by the authorities to block any form of dissent and protest, while the national economy begins to slow and the country is preparing to confront a delicate year: June marks the 20th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square.

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