China Tightens Electronic Censorship -

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 13:01

Nytlogo153x23Looks like the Chinese government is pushing internet controls a lot harder - and perhaps testing to see how much Chinese citizens can tolerate. I'll bet several Middle East governments wish they had this level of control right about now. But the question of when this sort of thing ultimately backfires is a fascinating one. So far in China's case the answer may be, "Not soon, if ever".

A host of evidence over the past several weeks shows that Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment. In the cat-and-mouse game that characterizes electronic communications here, analysts suggest that the cat is getting bigger, especially since revolts began to ricochet through the Middle East and North Africa, and homegrown efforts to organize protests in China began to circulate on the Internet about a month ago.

“The hard-liners have won the field, and now we are seeing exactly how they want to run the place,” said Russell Leigh Moses, a Beijing analyst of China’s leadership. “I think the gloves are coming off.”

NY Times piece