03 January 2006

This Item Includes Forbidden Language

Enigma: It's the perfect word for the Jekyll/Hyde Chinese Government. One day they are doing a pretty good economic impression of the free-market world, and the next day, they are literally stomping opposition or jailing dissenters.

One thing's forsure, China is one bohonkin' market, and lots of Western companies will gladly hemorrhage resources and capital to set up shop over there. One way to curry favor with China is to do the governments dirty work, like when a pesky citizen asks too many questions. Why expect the government to pull the plug on the openly curious when Bill Gates will do it himself? Rebecca MacKinnon is on this like a duck on a Junebug:

On December 16th I created a blog and attempted to make various posts with politically sensitive words. When I attempted to post entries with titles like "Tibet Independence" or "Falun Gong" (a banned religious group), I got an error message saying: "This item includes forbidden language. Please delete forbidden language from this item."

However I was successful in posting blog entries with non-controversial titles, but with politically sensitive words in the text body. For instance, a blog post titled "I love you" had "Tibet independence" in the text body, and a post titled "I am happy" had "Falun Gong" in the body . . . This was on Friday December 16th. By Monday the 19th, the whole blog had been taken down, just like (Zhao Jing's) was on Dec.31st, with an error message: "This space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later."

Now, It is VERY important to note that the inaccessible blog was moved or removed at the server level and that the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers.
Where do you want to go today?

Freedom for everyone. No exceptions.

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