Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Around Time Zhou Yongkang's Investigation is Announced, Baidu Begins Censoring Name of Civil Rights Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang

On June 13, 2014, China’s state run television broadcaster reported that lawyer Pu Zhiqiang  (浦志强) had been arrested for illegally obtaining personal information (涉嫌寻衅滋事罪非法获取公民个人信息罪:浦志强被依法逮捕

On July 29, 2014, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has decided to place Zhou Yongkang under investigation for suspected ‘serious disciplinary violation.’”

As noted previously on this blog, in February 2013, Sina Weibo repeatedly deleted posts making reference to Pu Zhiqiang publicly calling for a reckoning of the domestic security established under the administration of Zhou Yongkang (周永康).

These screenshots show that some time between July 5 and July 29, Baidu began censoring searches for Pu Zhiqiang’s name.

As the top screenshot belowshows, when a user searched on Baidu for “Pu Zhiqiang Blows the Whistle on Zhou Yongkang” (浦志强实名举报周永康)  on February 8, 2013, Baidu told them “Search results may not comply with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, and have not been displayed.” (抱歉,没有找到与“高智晟”相关的网页) The bottom screenshot, taken on July 29, 2014, shows that today Baidu tells users conducting the same search that it cannot locate any relevant web pages.

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