Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Great Chinese Firewall

The internet in China is not the same medium enjoyed in the West. China's internet
authorities are using filtering technology that disables a popular feature on Google. The
feature puts snapshots of web pages onto servers based outside China, which enabled
the Chinese to view sites that were otherwise blocked. Banned key words are embedded
in desktop software to filter messaging among PC's and cellphones. The Chinese
Ministry of Public Security is the agency that polices the internet. They have been
successful at encoding routers with unique numerical addresses for the web sites the
Chinese government deems objectionable. This blocks uncensored news. Filtering
devices also comb messages, searching for objectionable words. Chinese e-mails can be
lost in cyberspace, never reaching their destination, and going unanswered. Internet
service providers seem to be doing their own censoring and blocking probably at the
behest of the Chinese government. Instant messaging software filters words and terms

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