Archive for November, 2012


China’s Great Firewall on Internet is one of the most frightening freedom of speech violation in the world. More than sixty Internet laws have been implemented by the People’s Republic of China to repress freedom of speech on the Internet thus restricting access to information, to education and freedom of thought.

China uses censorship to supress and silence dissent and any opposition to the regime. China is, according to Amnesty International, the world’s leading jailer of journalists, today 30 journalists and 50 internet users are know to be in jail in China.

If you look up “democracy movements” on Internet in China, the page will “not be found.”

But how does it work?

The Chinese government created sophisticated ways to allow a limited access to the Internet to Chinese users, it created bottlenecks (Internet traffic to China is channelled through computers centers), checks Internet traffic for subversive material (then uses censure), and even goes as far as to ask the Chinese population itself to “self-censure” (commercial websites are responsible for the content, if Chinese authorities do not like it, the company will be held accountable.)

Authorities created “cartoon cybercops” that pop up on controversial websites “to remind Internet users they’re being watched.”

Feels like Orwell’s 1989? Wait, it gets worse.

China is also getting outside help to censure its population. China is being assisted by American firms such as for example Cisco Systems to restrict internet freedom. Even google created a censored search engine for China. According to ABC news “Outside China, users who search Google Images for “Tiananmen Square” get pictures from the 1989 pro-democracy protests that ended in crackdown that left hundreds dead and included the iconic photograph of a lone man staring down a line of Chinese tanks. Inside China, users get only tourist images of Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City across the street.”

Check out this NGO website: Great Firewall of China which allows you to check which websites are blocked in China.

The NGO Freedom House published on September 24, 2012 a special report on Freedom on the Net. This report is the third part of a review of developments related to Internet Freedom, International Privacy and Censorship in 47 countries: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. It reviews the countries’ achievements from January 2011 to May 2012. The report praises the new methods to protect Internet Freedom developed by many countries, however it also highlights the still existent internet censorship and internet laws restricting freedom of speech.

The report is entitled Internet Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. Please find attached the full report in PDF and a Summury of its Findings.

Freedom House Report on Internet Freedom