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  • » 05/10/2010, 00.00

    CHINA

    More and more Internet users getting around China’s censorship



    A prominent blogger conducts a survey among mainland Internet users who go to banned sites. He finds that would-be wall scalers are not opponents of the authorities but people who want to work online. They represent a huge potential market.
    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Some 80 per cent of mainlanders get around the government’s "Great Firewall" to access basic services such as Google as well as “banned” sites.

    Mainland China has always closely censored the Internet. Key words on “sensitive” issues like the Tiananmen Square massacre, 4 June, Taiwan and many more are blocked.

    Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, censorship has increased. Since the middle of last year, access to social networking platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook has also been blocked.

    Google’s recent decision to stop censoring its Chinese research engine has caused a dispute with China so that it too has been blacked out. However, more and more Chinese netizens have been getting around the censorship.

    Prominent blogger Jason Ng launched a survey last month to look into the phenomenon of scaling the Great Firewall of China.

    He polled more than 5,300 mainlanders and found that most of those who circumvented government internet blocks were well-educated young people aged between 22 and 25.

    In addition, two-thirds of the respondents said that they scaled the Great Firewall every day, especially to get to search engines like Google, followed by social networks like Facebook, and foreign news sources. About 30 per cent of the respondents admitted their purpose was to visit pornographic sites.

    These wall scalers are not dangerous dissidents. Half of them said they would accept censorship if the authorities could provide a clearly defined law and be transparent about its enforcement.

    According to the survey, 85 per cent of the respondents said they did not believe they were doing anything illegal and would teach their friends how to scale the wall. Only 38 per cent believe internet censorship should be completely abolished.

    Since the sample is not representative, results should be taken with caution. Even so, some mainland internet and political analysts said the survey gave people a first look at the behaviour of mainland wall scalers.

    Wen Yunchao, a Guangzhou-based internet analyst and technician who is also known as Beifeng, told the South China Morning Post it was impossible for mainland authorities to completely block services by virtual private networks (VPNs), mostly provided by overseas companies, because many multinational corporations and even embassies and consulates on the mainland are using such services.

    This could favour the creation of sites with access to foreign news and networks.

    It could also lead to the development of a market for proxy services for pay, one with a potentially large customer base.

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    See also

    03/08/2017 16:47:00 CHINA
    Apple helps Beijing's censorship by following the law

    Apple removes VPN services used by the Chinese to skirt Beijing's control of information. “[W]e follow the law wherever we do business,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. For critics, compliance with the Chinese government is a change of strategy due to poor sales performance. Apple's revenues fell 10 per cent compared to 2016.



    23/01/2017 10:08:00 CHINA
    Beijing strengthens Great Firewall, private networks illegal

    As of yesterday, private connections will need government approval to be able to access the internet. To date, the country has more than 730 million users.


     



    24/04/2007 CHINA
    Communist Party to ‘purify’ internet
    The latest campaign against the net’s ‘immoral’ content is launched. The real goal is to allow only sites that disseminate official political theories. For years China has been tightening its control over the internet in an attempt to stop dissident ideas and writings.

    05/12/2017 13:49:00 CHINA
    Ambiguous praise for Xi Jinping and web control at the World Internet Conference

    More than 1,500 representatives from 80 countries took part in the event. China’s president offers greater openness to online markets, but reiterates Chinese sovereignty in cyberspace. China’s internet is the most controlled in the world, but also the most developed.



    09/01/2018 13:56:00 CHINA
    Official data on internet censorship

    In 2017, 128 thousand sites were blocked, 30.9 million books confiscated; 1900 people arrested and punished. The "USSR syndrome".





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