Showing posts from June, 2014

State Media Details Detention of 17 Sina Internet Editors in Police Raid

On May 29, 2014, the state sponsored Southern Weekend published an article entitled “Why Are We  Screening You?” (“ 为什么要屏蔽你? ”) Some excerpts: After working hard all day, Wu Feng, an editor in Sina's online book division, had finally finished all his tasks, and checked the time. It was already 7:30 pm. The day was April 11, 2014. On a normal day the office would have long since emptied out. But this was not a normal day, and Wu Feng's 16 coworkers were still immersed in their work. Early that morning the editorial department had "received information": a new round of "sweeping out porn and attacking illegal publications" had begun, and every employee had to stay to delete the "little yellow books" on the Book Channel. They had to "hide the bodies and destroy the evidence" before the relevant organs conducted an inspection. Wu Feng had planned to head home, but at the last minute didn't leave. His colleagues saw him as a "o

Translation: Measures on the Administration of Information Acquired by News Professionals in the Course of Business

GAPPRFT No. 75[2014] Notice Regarding Promulgation of the "Measures on the Administration of Information Acquired by News Professionals in the Course of Business" The press and publication offices of each province (district, municipal), the press and publication office of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Brigade, and  the periodical publications administration offices of each agency, democratic party, and civic organization of the Communist Party and the central government, and major media outlets of the Communist Party: In recent years, we have occasionally observed instances of news professionals misusing information they acquired in the course of business. Some have violated state secrets laws and regulations and willfully disseminated and transmitted information that implicated secrets. Some have published information they acquired through their professional activities on the Internet without authorization. Some have published reports through other domestic

Baidu's PostBar Forums Provide Useful Context for China's 2013 Human Rights White Paper

On May 26, 2014, the state sponsored China Daily reported : The Chinese government on Monday released a white paper detailing the progress made in human rights in 2013, highlighting enhanced social fairness, justice and freedom of speech. "China's progress in its human rights undertaking is there for everybody to see, and every unbiased and reasonable observer can draw a fair conclusion," said the white paper, published by the State Council Information Office under the title "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013." Here are some excerpts from the White Paper’s section on Freedom of Speech , along with some screenshots (courtesy of this blog) showing what happens when users search for related terms on Baidu's PostBar (贴吧 Tieba) forums. From the White Paper: " Chinese people enjoy extensive freedom of speech . "(中国社会存在广泛的 言论自由 。) The above screenshot shows that a search for " Freedom of Speech " (言论自由) on Baidu PostBar re

Liu Ping Convicted of "Using an Evil Cult to Undermine Law Enforcement"

Liu Ping  On June 19, 2014, the Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi sentenced Li Sihua (李思华) to three years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事), and sentenced Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) to six and a half years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事), “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序), and “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施). The evidence cited by the court in support of Liu’s conviction for “using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement” consisted of a list of QQ and Skype chats from August 18, 2012, in which Liu “transmitted information that Falun Gong member Mr. Hou had ‘been persecuted.’” The court ruled: Defendant Liu Ping . . .  transmitted information on the Internet that Falun Gong members had been persecuted, with the intent to cause others to make appeals and pay attention, creating a malicious influence. ("被告人刘萍。 。 。 在互联网上散发法

As June 22 Hong Kong Referendum Approaches, Sina Weibo Censors "622 Referendum"

On June 21, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “ HK ‘Referendum’ Illegal and Useless .” Some excerpts: The so-called referendum organized by opposition activists in Hong Kong aims to push for reform in the 2017 election of the Special Administrative Region's (SAR) next leader - the organizers are calling for public nomination of candidates instead of them being nominated by a committee as stipulated by the Basic Law. The SAR government has made it clear that the "referendum" is illegal, and that the result of the vote is not legally binding. . . . . The opposition groups, who refuse to accept the essence of the Basic Law and the white paper, are trying to use the "referendum" and "Occupy Central" movement to scare off the central government. These screenshots show that on June 21, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “622 Referendum” (622公投). These screenshots show that, at around the same time, Sina

People on Sina Weibo With Profile Photos of Cute Young Women Agree: Civil Rights Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang is Guilty and Should Be Punished

On June 13, 2014, the Beijing Public Security Office posted a notice on its official Sina Weibo saying: Following authorization from the Procuratorate, on June 13, 2014, the Beijing Public Security Bureau has arrested Pu Zhiqiang on suspicion of the committing the crimes of picking quarrels and illegally obtaining people's personal information. The Public Security Bureau is currently carrying out further investigation into other crimes that Pu Zhiqiang is suspected of committing. 经检察机关批准,2014年6月13日,北京市公安局以涉嫌寻衅滋事罪、非法获取公民个人信息罪对浦志强依法执行逮捕。对浦志强涉嫌的其他犯罪事实,公安机关正在进一步侦查中。 This screenshot shows the Beijing PSB's Sina Weibo posts, along with translations of some comments left by Weibo users. On June 11, 2014, several Sina Weibo users who did not use images of cute young women as their profile photos, for example lawyer Luo Changping (罗昌平) and Lawyer's Digest (律师文摘), posted an account of a recent meeting between Pu and his Lawyer Zhang Sizhi (张思之), but it was quickly de

Caixin Report Provides Context for Baidu's 2011 Censorship of Search Resutls for "CCTV Baidu"

On August 15, 2011, China's state-run television broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) launched the first in a series of critical reports about Baidu. As described in an August 18 report on the state-sponsored website: Over the past few days, CCTV has broadcast a series of reports showing Baidu helped unlicensed pharmaceutical companies circumvent government regulations to appear at the top of its search results. CCTV has also criticized "slanderous posts" by Internet users on the company's Tieba forums, which Baidu has allegedly refused to delete. Within days of CCTV’s reports, Baidu (and only Baidu) began censoring results for "CCTV Baidu" (both "CCTV 百度" and "央视 百度"). The screenshots below were taken on August 21, 2011, and show that at that time searches for these terms on Baidu web search and news search returned a notice saying "Search results may not comply with relevant laws, regulations, and policies

Sina Weibo Censors Search Results for "Facebook Office" and "Google Blocked"

This screenshot was taken on June 15, 2014, and shows that Sina Weibo was censoring search results for "Facebook Office" (Facebook 办事处). These screenshots show that on June 13, 2014, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Google Blocked" (谷歌被封). It appeared Sina stopped censoring results for that phrase on June 15.

Baidu's Censorship of the Events of June 4, 1989: 2009 vs. 2014

The following screenshots show how Baidu's censorship has changed when it comes to terms relating to the events that occurred in and around Tiananmen Square on and about June 4, 1989 on the 20th and 25th anniversaries of that event. In these examples we see: "Six Four Personal Recollections" ("六四亲历记") : 2009 - No results, censorship notice.  2014 - No results, no censorship notice. "20/25 Years Six Four" (20/25年  六四) : 2009 - No results, censorship notice.  2014 - Results restricted to broad whitelist of websites operated by PRC government licensed websites. "1989 Beijing Students" ("1989 北京学生") : 2009 - No results, censorship notice.  2014 -No obvious censorship. "1989 Student Movement" ("1989 学生运动") : 2009 - No results, censorship notice.  2014 -Search results restricted to a strict whitelist of about a dozen websites operated by the central government and the Communist Party.

Watch as Baidu Implements Censorship of "Tiananmen 25th Anniversary"

The attached screenshots show that, as the 25th anniversary of the events surrounding June 4, 1989 approached, Baidu's search result pages for "Tiananmen 25th Anniversary" (天安门 25周年) changed. On May 15, 2014, the first search result page showed no censorship notice and 10 results, and claimed a total of about 2,220,000 total results. On May 30, 2014, the first search result page showed no censorship notice and five results, and claimed a total of about 2,130,000 results. On June 4, 2014, the first search result page showed a censorship notice and 10 results, and claimed a total of about 36,800,000 total results.

Baidu Japan: 800+ Results for "25 Years Ago Tiananmen," Baidu China: Zero

The following screenshots were taken on June 7, 2014, and show that Baidu's Japan search engine (which is blocked in China) returns over 800 results for a search for "25 Years Ago Tiananmen" (25年前天安门"). For the same search Baidu's China search engine returns no results, just an apology saying it cannot locate any web pages relating to that query.

In Days Following June 4, 2014, Sina Weibo Stops Censoring "Today," "Tiananmen," "25th Anniversary"

These screenshots show that, in the week following June 4, 2014, the 25th Anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Sina Weibo stopped censoring search results for "Today," (今天) "Tiananmen," (天安门) "25th Anniversary," (25周年) "Black Shirts," (黑衫) "Candles," (蜡烛) and "Victoria Park." (维多利亚公园)

On the 25th Anniversary of the Clearing Of Tiananmen Square, Sina Weibo Began Censoring "Today"

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Sina Weibo Begins Censoring "Block Tanks" and "Victoria Park" Day Before the 25th Anniversary of the 1989 Clearing of Tiananmen Square

These screenshots show that on June 3, 2014, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Block Tanks" and "Victoria Park."

China’s Major Internet Companies Censor Nonsense (Literally) In An Effort to Block Information About Events on June 4, 1989

These screenshots were taken on May 27, and show that Baidu, Qihoo, Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo were all censoring search results for “May 35” (5月35日), which is another way of writing “June 4.” This screenshot shows that Tencent Weibo was censoring search results for “Willow Silk” (柳丝), which sounds like “Six Four” (六四) in Chinese. This screenshot shows that Qihoo was censoring “VIIIIXVIIV,” which is 8 9 6 4 in roman numerals: VIII | IX | VI | IV.